The underground operation at Kibali Gold Mine set new mining and shaft production records in the third quarter to keep the Barrick Tier 1 gold mine on track to meet or beat its guidance of 750,000 ounces for the year.

Throughput and recovery for the quarter were at or above the nameplate level.

Barrick Gold Corporation president and CE Mark Bristow says Kibali – already a world leader in automation – was taking this to the next level with the commissioning of a Newtrax system which would provide real-time data collection, enhance predictive maintenance, track and manage the fleet, and implement a digital safety system with personnel tracking.

Grinding mills at Kibali deliver higher concentrate volume

The mine is also working towards a proof of concept of a highly advanced system which will allow manned and unmanned operations in the same area.

“In line with our policy of local employment and advancement, we continue to transfer the specialized skills required for automated mining to our Congolese workforce.

“The success of this policy is evident in Kibali’s consistently excellent performance and shows what can be achieved with a world-class asset in a remote and under-developed region of Africa,” Bristow said.

Positive drill results over the last few years from Ikmava-Kalimva as well as KCD underground are expected to result in reserve growth net of annual depletion.

“Ongoing exploration has positioned Kibali for continued reserve replacement for years to come, with further potential open pit extensions in Gorumbwa, Sessenge and the potential KCD super pit, in addition to the definition of the new KCD underground 11000 Lode.”

He noted that Kibali was maintaining its solid health, safety and environmental record despite the size and complexity of the operation.

Kibali production could exceed annual 750 000 oz forecast

“Following the transition of political power in the DRC, which happened peacefully in the face of many challenges, we plan to engage the new administration in a review of the 2018 mining code.

“We believe it is still possible to arrive at a dispensation which is more equitable to the industry,” says Bristow.