Marvel Gold

Barrick Gold Corporation’s Loulo-Gounkoto complex remains on track to meet the upper end of its 2020 guidance in the face of multiple challenges, including a military coup in Mali.

Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow attributes this performance to the company’s long-established relationships with partners in Mali and its philosophy of sharing the benefits it creates with its local stakeholders.

Over the past 24 years, Barrick and its legacy company Randgold Resources have contributed $7.4 billion to the Malian economy in the form of taxes, royalties, salaries, and payments to local suppliers.

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So far this year Loulo-Gounkoto has spent $275 million with local contractors and suppliers.

The development of the complex’s third underground mine at Gounkoto is on track to deliver its first ore tonnes in the second quarter of 2021.

Meanwhile, Barrick’s first solar power plant has been commissioned and is ramping up to deliver 20 MW into the microgrid, in line with the company’s strategy of transitioning to cleaner forms of energy.

The complex has paid dividends totalling $160 million in the year to date with Loulo paying a maiden dividend in the quarter on the back of the mine’s convention amendment.

Barrick has agreed to sell its other operation in Mali, Morila, to Mali Lithium with the government retaining its 20% stake.

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Morila was the mine which laid the foundation for Randgold’s success, producing almost 7 Moz of gold over its life. Bristow said the transaction created the opportunity for Morila’s infrastructure and assets to be redeployed for the benefit of its employees, surrounding communities and the country.

“We’ve always had great confidence in Mali and its people, hence our continuing commitment to the country. It is gratifying to note that Mali is dealing with its political challenges and has already returned to a civilian-led transitional government. We look forward to being part of its future,” 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.