Built on its core strategy of continuing exploration success, Barrick’s 10-year plan has been bolstered further by significant advances in resource replacement and prospect development during the first quarter of the year.
Mineral resource management and evaluation executive, Rodney Quick, says the post-merger focus on orebody knowledge across all operating functions, a greatly improved understanding of geological frameworks and the application of leading-edge technologies are identifying and unlocking opportunities for expanding existing asset bases as well as for new discoveries. These factors are effectively combined under Barrick’s unique approach to integrated exploration, mineral resource management and planning.
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Better understanding of the orebodies has required a great deal of work at the Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) joint venture and this is now beginning to pay off. Drilling programs are currently under way at all priority targets, including Leeville, Sphinx, Carlin Basin and Pipeline-Robertson. Leeville is yielding robust high-grade results and newly identified controls are opening up peripheral targets. At Robertson, step-out drilling suggests considerable near-surface upside and the potential for additional discoveries. Exploration declines at Goldrush, now in ore, are continuing to test extensions.
During the past quarter, notable advances were also made at Loulo-Gounkoto, Kibali and Jabal Sayid.
In the greater Loulo district, new styles of mineralization have been found in Senegal, a potential discovery is emerging at Yalea Ridge and there are exciting drill intercepts beneath the Loulo 1 orebody. There are also at least three major structures immediately south of Gounkoto with extensive anomalism pointing to a potentially significant orebody nearby.
At Kibali, Kalimva is showing some very promising results and a recent reinterpretation of the geological framework has highlighted an area with many structural similarities to the world-class KCD orebody immediately to the east.
At Jabal Sayid, a wide and high-grade intercept well outside the known orebody, points to potentially significant mine life extensions.
On the new discoveries front, generative and grassroots exploration is building a pipeline of targets across all regions, with a particular focus on Latin America, says Rob Krcmarov, Barrick’s exploration and growth executive.
“There’s a high turnover of projects being evaluated, with the emphasis on geological models and prospectivity. The Zambrana target along strike from Pueblo Viejo is returning encouraging results and at Veladero, drilling at Lama East appears to have intersected strong near surface mineralisation, confirming the potential of the unexplored region between Veladero and Lama. Drilling is continuing to refine our understanding of the controls on mineralization at Alturas-Del Carmen and Pascua-Lama,” he says.
Barrick also continues to review new business opportunities, capable of meeting its investment criteria, outside its existing portfolio.