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Barrick says its Tanzanian gold mines on track to meet their 2021 production targets

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(Kitco News) - Barrick Gold announced yesterday that its Tanzanian mines, North Mara and Bulyanhulu, are both set to meet their 2021 production targets as well as to replace depleted reserves through brownfields exploration.

Speaking at the mine to local media, president and chief executive Mark Bristow said the production ramp-up at Bulyanhulu “was gaining momentum” with plant performance ahead of expectations and recoveries at a consistent rate of 93%.

According to a statement, a new crusher was also commissioned and is being optimized to support increasing production, and that an 11% increase in tonnage was driven partly by an investment in three new fully automated loaders and three additional drills.

“Successful conversion and optimization of mineral resources in the upper portion of Deep West has been completed and is expected to add significant mineral reserves to the asset base, unlocking further value in the mine plan,” Bristow added.

At North Mara, the commissioning of a brine treatment plant is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year as part of Barrick’s successful drive to eliminate the mine’s historical environmental issues. This has also included a new water treatment plant and an upgraded tailings facility.

During the past quarter the mine’s Gokona underground operation was connected to the national power grid, which will cut its diesel consumption by 43%. North Mara’s two open pits have been redesigned and integrated with the underground mine.

Bristow said Barrick was continuing to improve the quality of life in the villages around North Mara, in partnership with the mine’s community development committee. Key projects include construction of a tarmac road, classrooms, paediatric wards and laboratories, and support for agribusiness.

In 2020, Bulyanhulu produced 44,000 oz of gold at all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $895/oz, whereas its 2021 production outlook is 170,000 – 200,000 oz of gold at AISC of $810 - $860 / oz.

In 2020, North Mara produced 261,000 oz of gold at AISC of $929/oz. North Mara’s 2021 production outlook is 240,000 – 270,000 oz of gold at AISC of $960 - $1,010 / oz.

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