10 Years after it went into production, Tongon could get a new lease on life thanks to promising results from near-mine exploration campaigns designed to replace the mine’s depleted reserves.

In addition to work on the promising Seydou North and Tongon West targets, Tongon has filed the documentation for the extension of its Nielle mining licence by a further 10 years, to support the drive to add to its life-of-mine.

Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow says Barrick, through its predecessor Randgold Resources, had been investing in and partnering with Côte d’Ivoire through the country’s many challenges and development stages.

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“The successful commissioning of Tongon in the midst of a civil war was a landmark achievement in the development of a gold mining industry in the highly prospective but underexplored Côte d’Ivoire. Since then, the mine has been consistently profitable — it has just declared a $150 million dividend for the second quarter of this year — and boasts one of the best safety records in the Barrick group. Over time it has invested $1.77 billion in the Ivorian economy in the form of taxes, salaries, payments to local suppliers and infrastructure developments,” Bristow said.

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In Barrick’s spirit of partnership with its host communities, Tongon has provided the local villages, located in one of the poorest parts of the country, with access to electricity and new markets through a network of power lines, roads and bridges, built new primary schools and clinics, boosted the development of a regional economy by employing local contractors and suppliers, and prefinanced a number of income-generating projects. Most recently it has provided a surgical unit for the Mbengue clinic.

“A longer life for Tongon means that it will be able to continue creating benefits to share with our Ivorian stakeholders for years to come,” Bristow said.

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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.