Featuring the recollections of a coterie of former employees, retirees and five former chief executive officers, A History: Placer Development Limited and Placer Dome Inc. records the highlights of a world-class Canadian mining company’s evolution over 80 years.
Placer Development, Limited, one of the predecessor companies to Placer Dome Inc., first saw the light of day in British Columbia in 1926. It was the brainwave of two unique individuals. William Addison Freeman was an Australian corporate lawyer with several mining interests, and Charles Arthur Banks, a New Zealand mining engineer, was based in Vancouver looking after a British Columbia silver mine. The company they founded had its first success in gold dredging operations in what is now Papua New Guinea. The decades that followed saw Placer make a name for itself in developing and operating mines around the world, more often than not “ahead of schedule and under budget”. In 1987 Placer merged with Dome Mines Limited and Campbell Red Lake Mines Limited to continue as Placer Dome Inc. Years later, in 2006, when Placer Dome was acquired by Barrick Gold Corporation, the company had over 50 mining operations to its credit, was operating 16 mines at the time, mostly gold, and had five significant projects in its pipeline.