Barrick targets extension of North Mara mine as group looks to 500,000 oz from Tanzania

Mark Bristow, CEO, Barrick Gold

BARRICK Gold CEO, Mark Bristow said at the weekend that exploratory drilling of the Gokona strike in Tanzania “is pointing to a significant potential for extending” the life of the country’s North Mara mine.

“We continue to target further growth through reconnaissance and the consolidation of key licences,” Bristow said in a speech on a visit to a school near North Mara.

“Extension opportunities are being assessed along the Gokona strike and throughout the Bulyanhulu Inlier. Results from the deep drilling at Gokona are pointing to a significant potential for extending North Mara’s life,” he said. Bristow previously described North Mara as one of the group’s tier one, world class assets.

“In addition to the brownfields exploration designed to maintain the positive trend on resource expansion and conversion at the two mines, we are also looking further afield.

“A better understanding of the region’s geological architecture will improve our ability to discover new world-class development opportunities in our areas of interest,” he said.

Production from North Mara and Bulyanhulu in Tanzania is expected to surpass 500,000 ounces for the second consecutive year.

This follows the formation of the Twiga Joint Venture in 2019 with the Tanzanian government – a development that brought a three-year dispute between Barrick’s former subsidiary, Acacia Mining and the government to a close.

“Our groundbreaking Twiga partnership with the Tanzanian government not only settled its long-running disputes with the mines’ previous operators but has established a model for mutually beneficial cooperation between miners and their host countries, particularly in Africa,” said Bristow.

At Bulyanhulu, the development of the main declines to access the Deep West zone of the orebody started last quarter, said Barrick. The production ramp-up at both mines is being supported by fleet upgrades, it added.