A night shot of
North Mara one
of Barrick’s gold
mines in Tanzania
 
Toronto, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 May 2008 – International gold mining giant Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick) may soon confirm a direct involvement in a new South African platinum project.

In a news release issue here, the company confirmed that a feasibility study had been completed on the Sedibelo platinum project in South Africa, entitling it to a 10% interest, and the right to earn an additional 40% on a decision to mine. The company will determine a course of action on Sedibelo in due course, the release added.

The feasibility study shows attractive economics based on an assumed life-of-mine production of 4.76 Moz of 4E (platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold), and pre-production capital of about US$700 million (more than R5 billion).

Annual production in the first full five years of a minimum 16-year mine life is estimated to be about 240 000 oz of 4E (100% basis) at cash costs of about US$700 (about R5 300) per 4E oz. The feasibility study contemplates initial production from open pit sources, followed by a ramp-up of underground operations which is expected to increase average annual production to over 290 000 oz of 4E (100% basis) at cash costs of about US$600 (R4 500) per 4E ounce over the first full 10 years.

The current weighted average market price for the basket of metals at Sedibelo is about US $2 100 (almost R16 000) per 4E ounce.

In its first quarter update, Barrick reported a net income of US$514 million (R3.9 billion) for the three months to 31 March, 2008, compared to a net loss of US$159 million (R1.2 billion) in the same period last year.

First quarter gold production was 1.74 Moz, and the company’s full-year production guidance is maintained at 7.6 to 8.1 Moz. Copper production amounted to 87m lbs for the quarter, and full-year guidance is set at 380 to 400 m lbs.