Barrick: Efforts Under Way To Extend Life Of Loulo-Gounkoto Complex
(Kitco News) - The chief executive of Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: GOLD; TSX: ABX) said over the weekend that the company is working to extend the life of the Loulo-Gounkoto complex in Mali as the Morila mine in the country nears the end of its life.
Morila started production two decades ago. However, Mark Bristow, Barrick’s president and chief executive officer, said over the weekend that Morila is heading for closure after producing 6.8 million ounces of gold.
However, the Loulo-Gounkoto complex remains one of the world’s top 10 tier-one gold mines and during the last quarter again delivered the greatest production improvement in Barrick’s global portfolio. Halfway through 2019, Loulo-Gounkoto on track to achieve its annual production guidance of 690 000 ounces of gold, Bristow said.
Continuing exploration around three main ore bodies is confirming the potential to replace depleted reserves, supporting and possibly extending the complex’s 10-year plan, Barrick said. Barrick is also hunting for new ore bodies along its 70-kilometer tenement straddling the Mali-Senegal shear. Barrick noted this region has produced more major gold discoveries over the past 20 years than anywhere else in the world.
Meanwhile, installation of a 20-megawatt solar power plant is under way. This would save the complex 10 million liters of fuel per year, thereby reducing its carbon footprint and providing low-cost power for the local community even after Loulo-Gounkoto’s eventual closure, Bristow said.
“The Barrick mines have been good for Maliâ€¦,” Bristow said.