Barrick Gold not done yet even after Sh5 trillion investment

Barrick Gold’s chief executive, Mark Bristow.

What you need to know:

  • Barrick Gold president and CEO Mark Bristow said North Mara and Bulyanhulu mines were set to achieve combined production in excess of 500,000 ounces for the second year running

Tarime. After in-country investment of $2.187 billion (over Sh5 trillion) during the past three years, Barrick Gold Corporation said at the weekend that it was looking to expand its East African footprint.

Speaking here at the weekend after returning from a meeting with President Samia Suluhu Hassan, president and chief executive Mark Bristow said both North Mara and Bulyanhulu gold mines were set to achieve a combined production in excess of 500,000 ounces for the second year running.

He termed the progress a “remarkable success story”.

He said both North Mara and Bulyanhulu have been ramping up production, with North Mara hitting a record 505,000 tonnes of ore and waste mined last quarter.

It continues to optimise the underground operation while the change to an owner-mining strategy has boosted the expansion of both the mine and open pit operations.

At Bulyanhulu, the development of the main declines to access the Deep West zone of the orebody started last quarter. The production ramp-up at both mines is being supported by fleet upgrades.

“We continue to target further growth through reconnaissance and the consolidation of key licences. Extension opportunities are being assessed along the Gokona strike and throughout the Bulyanhulu Inlier. Results from the deep drilling at Gokona are pointing to a significant potential for extending North Mara’s life,” Mr Bristow said during the event that was also attended by the Deputy Minister for Minerals, Dr Steven Kiruswa, and the acting Regional Commissioner for Mara who is also the Regional Commissioner for Simiyu, Dr Yahaya Nawanda.

“In addition to the brownfields exploration designed to maintain the positive trend on resource expansion and conversion at the two mines, we are also looking further afield. A better understanding of the region’s geological architecture will improve our ability to discover new world-class development opportunities in our areas of interest.”

Meanwhile, Dr Kiruswa warned that as the company seeks further growth, the government will ensure that only the bona-fide individuals to be affected with the expansion plan are compensated.

“We know that some speculators are buying land close to the mine so they can cash in on the possible expansion through compensation. President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s government will ensure that it is only bona-fide individuals that get compensated. As the government, it is our duty to ensure that both the investor and a Tanzanian land owner get what they rightfully deserve,” he said.

In his remarks, Dr Nawanda assured residents in areas that benefit from the mining giant’s Corporate Social Responsibility funds that all the money will be spent on time and in a manner that ensures that there is value for money in the use.

In line with Barrick’s localisation policy, Tanzanians make up 96 percent of mines’ workforces, with 45 percent drawn from the communities surrounding the mines