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Barrick sets-up community development fund

Barrick Gold Corporation’s president and chief executive Mark Bristow and San Juan governor Sergio Uñac have signed an agreement for the establishment of a trust fund for community development projects.

The fund will be financed by 1.5% of the Veladero gold mine’s sales, which is estimated to amount to $138 million during the current life of the mine which extends beyond 2030. Development projects will be decided upon jointly by the mine’s communities, the government and Barrick.

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Bristow said the new trust fund represented a transformational opportunity to improve the quality of life for the communities around Veladero and was in line with Barrick’s global policy of sharing the economic benefits created by its mines with all its stakeholders, and in particular with the host communities.

“We’re working to extend Veladero’s life beyond its current horizon and a new 10-year production plan is already in place. Following the recent completion of the mine’s Phase 6 heap leach facility, construction of Phase 7 will start soon, with an investment in the range of $140 million.

“It is expected that this new facility will create 640 local jobs. Like our other operations, Veladero prioritizes the employment and training of host country nationals and 99% of its workforce are Argentine citizens with 90% from San Juan itself. We’re now also focusing on increasing the recruitment of women in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. Fifteen of the 24 participants in Veladero’s current technical training program are women and a further 17 are being trained as truck drivers,” he said.

In the meantime, the project to link Veladero to Chile’s national power grid has been scheduled for completion this month. This will help trim the mine’s greenhouse gas emissions in line with Barrick’s global reduction targets of 30% by 2030 and net zero by 2050.

Elsewhere in San Juan province Barrick is intensively exploring for more resources for the Pascua-Lama project, which straddles the border between Argentina and Chile. Bristow said a decision would be made in 2024 on whether Lama, which is in Argentina, met the company’s investment criteria for development. Barrick’s exploration teams are also evaluating a range of exciting targets along the El Indio Belt, around the Veladero JV and in Quevar in Salta province.

Barrickhttps://www.barrick.com
On 1 January 2019 a new Barrick was born out of the merger between Barrick Gold Corporation and Randgold Resources. Shares in the new company trade on the NYSE (GOLD) and the TSX (ABX). The merger has created a sector-leading gold company which owns five of the industry’s Top 10 Tier One gold assets (Cortez and Goldstrike in Nevada, USA (100%); Kibali in DRC (45%); Loulo-Gounkoto in Mali (80%); and Pueblo Viejo in Dominican Republic (60%)) and two with the potential to become Tier One gold assets (Goldrush/Fourmile (100%) and Turquoise Ridge (75%), both in the USA). With mining operations and projects in 15 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Dominican Republic, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, USA, and Zambia, Barrick has the lowest total cash cost position among its senior gold peers and a diversified asset portfolio positioned for growth in many of the world’s most prolific gold districts.

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