HomeEast AfricaBarrick's North Mara and Bulyanhulu set to meet 2021 production targets

Barrick’s North Mara and Bulyanhulu set to meet 2021 production targets

Barrick Gold Corporation’s Tanzanian mines, North Mara and Bulyanhulu, are both set to meet their 2021 production targets as well as to replace depleted reserves through brownfields exploration, says president and chief executive Mark Bristow.

Bristow said the production ramp-up at Bulyanhulu was gaining momentum with plant performance ahead of expectations and recoveries at a consistent rate of 93%. An 11% increase in tonnage was driven partly by an investment in three new fully automated loaders and three additional drills.

Successful conversion and optimization of mineral resources in the upper portion of Deep West has been completed and is expected to add significant mineral reserves to the asset base, unlocking further 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, a world-class analytical photon assay laboratory — the first of its kind in Africa and in Barrick’s global operations — has been commissioned. This new technique delivers faster, safer and more accurate analysis of gold, silver and complementary elements. This system provides an environmentally friendly, chemical-free, more sustainable replacement for traditional fire assay methods, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and hazardous waste. A new crusher was also commissioned and is being optimized to support increasing production.

At North Mara the commissioning of a brine treatment plant is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year as part of Barrick’s successful 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, which will cut its diesel consumption by 43%. North Mara’s two open pits have been redesigned and integrated with the underground mine.


Bristow said Barrick was continuing to improve the quality of life in the villages around North Mara, in partnership with the mine’s community development committee. Key projects include construction of a tarmac road, classrooms, paediatric wards and laboratories, and support for agribusiness.

“Since Barrick launched a business development program in Tanzania, we’ve continued to empower the participating enterprises, unlocking more opportunities to expand our mines’ local content spend which has increased from 26% of their total expenditure in the first quarter of this year to 40% in the second. In the year to date, Barrick has invested 73% of its total spend with Tanzanian companies, 44% of which went to local businesses,” Bristow said.


“It’s also worth noting that thanks to our policy of employing and upskilling host country nationals, 97% of our workforce here are Tanzanians, 40% of whom were hired from the mines’ surrounding communities. Recently, for example, Bulyanhulu recruited 19 mining and process plant trainees through their village councils.”

In partnership with the Tanzanian health authorities, Barrick is ensuring the continued roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines. So far, 12% of its workforce in the country have 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. It has also paid a maiden cash dividend of $250 million.

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.