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Barrick Gold's annual meeting: Falling profit, angry shareholders and protesters

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Barrick Gold Corp. chairman Peter Munk arrives at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, for his company’s annual general meeting. Behind to his right, Barrick board member and former prime minister Brian Mulroney.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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Mr. Munk speaks to Barrick shareholders at the Toronto meeting. The gold miner said it is making progress on controlling costs, with the price of gold sharply lower recently. In its first-quarter earnings report, the company announced $500-million (U.S.) in cost cuts to be implemented over the coming year.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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Mr. Munk shakes hands with Barrick chief executive officer Jamie Sokalsky during the annual general meeting Wednesday. Mr. Sokalsky told shareholders he shares their disappointment in the company’s returns, adding: “I give you my commitment that we will do everything we can to ensure Barrick remains a strong and prosperous company.”

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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A group of people march on Front Street in Toronto on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, outside Barrick’s annual meeting to protest the company’s operations in developing nations.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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Barrick shareholders walk by protesters outside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

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Mr. Munk speaks to shareholders about Barrick’s troubled Pascua-Lama mine in Chile and Argentina. Work on the Chilean part of the mine was halted by court order over allegations of polluted groundwater.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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Gustavo Cisneros, left, and former prime minister Brian Mulroney, members of Barrick’s board of directors, watch proceedings at the annual meeting, in which shareholders voted against a resolution asking them to approve the way the company pays its executives – pushback after the miner paid co-chairman John Thornton an $11.9-million (U.S.) signing bonus last year.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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Security at the annual meeting stops a man from holding up a sign protesting the Pascua-Lama mine in Chile and Argentina.

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Mr. Munk in front of a display at the annual meeting. Barrick reported profit for quarter ended March 31 was $847-million (U.S.), or 85 cents a share, compared to $1.06-billion, or $1.04, in the same period last year.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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Police watch as protesters outside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre Protesters display an effigy of Mr. Munk.

Chris Young/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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