Barrick Gold’s (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) Tanzanian mines, North Mara and Bulyanhulu, are said to be on track to achieve their respective 2021 production targets and to replace depleted reserves through brownfields exploration, the company announced on Sunday.
The company reports the production ramp-up at Bulyanhulu is gaining momentum with plant performance ahead of expectations and recoveries at a consistent rate of 93%.
The company has successfully converted and optimized mineral resources in the upper portion of Deep West at Bulyanhulu, where it expects to add significant reserves to the asset base.
Three new fully automated loaders and three additional drills partly drove an 11% increase in tonnage, Barrick disclosed in a media release.
The company has successfully converted and optimized mineral resources in the upper portion of Deep West, where it expects to add significant reserves to the asset base, thereby unlocking additional value in the mine plan.
In line with its long-term commitment to Tanzania, Barrick has also secured exploration targets elsewhere within Bulyanhulu’s mining licence.
Still at Bulyanhulu, Barrick announced the company’s commissioning of Africa’s first analytical photon assay laboratory. This new technique delivers faster, safer and more accurate analysis of gold, silver and complementary elements.
Barrick has also commissioned a new crusher which is being optimized to support increasing output.
At North Mara, a brine treatment plant commissioning is scheduled for the current quarter as part of Barrick’s drive to eliminate the mine’s historical environmental issues. This has also included a new water treatment plant and an upgraded tailings facility.
During the past quarter, the mine’s Gokona underground operation was connected to the national power grid, cutting its diesel consumption by 43%. North Mara’s two open pits have been redesigned and integrated with the underground mine.
Meanwhile, in partnership with the Tanzanian health authorities, Barrick ensures the continued roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines. So far, 12% of its workforce in the country has been vaccinated.
Since Barrick formed its pioneering partnership with the government through the Twiga partnership in 2020, it has paid $118 million in salaries, $496 million in taxes, levies and royalties and $609 million for locally sourced goods and services.