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Barrick says its gold mines in Tanzania advancing to tier one status

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(Kitco News) - Barrick said today that its North Mara and Bulyanhulu mines in Tanzania delivered a combined production of more than 500,000 ounces of gold in 2021, meeting a key criterion for membership of the company's elite Tier One portfolio.

The company added that North Mara is on track to become a fully integrated mine with the planned commissioning of the Nyabirama pit during the current quarter and the scheduled commencement of the Nyabigena pit in the third quarter of 2022. This is expected to add substantial resources and increased flexibility to its plan.

Bulyanhulu has been re-established as a world-class, low-cost, long-life underground mine as it achieved steady state production on the successful ramp-up of its mining and metallurgical operations in December 2021.

"Both mines are expected to report a significant growth of their mineral reserves, net of depletion, for 2021," the company noted in a statement.

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Speaking to local media here today, Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow said the mines' performance had been supported by reinforced Covid-19 protocols and the roll-out of vaccines to its workforce, 26.45% of whom have already been partially vaccinated and 20.25% fully vaccinated. Barrick is working closely with the country's health authorities to supply four PCR machines to hospitals around the mines.

Referring to Barrick's recently published Human Rights Report, Bristow said the environmental and other issues it had inherited from the mines' previous operators had been or were being settled.

The company's significant progress on this front was exemplified by last month's landmark completion of the restoration of North Mara's tailings facility pond to within its permitted design capacity, Bristow said. The rehabilitated facility has been complemented by a new high recovery water treatment plant.

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