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Barrick inks new JV agreements with Ma'aden, broadens copper base in Saudi Arabia

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(Kitco News) - Barrick Gold (NYSE:GOLD)(TSX:ABX) announced Wednesday that it has signed new joint venture agreements with Saudi Arabian mining company Ma'aden for two prospective exploration projects comprising the Jabal Sayid South and Umm Ad Damar license areas.

In its press release, Barrick said that these new prospective joint ventures significantly expand Barrick's exploration footprint in Saudi Arabia, grow the Ma'aden Barrick partnership and open up potential synergies with the neighboring Jabal Sayid mine, an already successful 50/50 joint venture between Barrick and Ma'aden.

"From 2018 to 2021 production at Jabal Sayid increased from 110 million pounds to 152 million pounds per annum as a result of improved mining performance and process plant optimization and during the same period the mine's mineral reserves were grown net of depletion by the company's geologically-driven exploration strategy," the company noted in a statement.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow said the company would bring its record of exploration and operational success to the new projects.

"Recent high-grade intercepts from underground drilling within the existing Jabal Sayid mine are demonstrating potential for further orebody extensions. In addition, positive initial results from nearby new exploration targets are indicating further growth prospects, which are being aggressively pursued by the exploration team. This intense focus on discovery will be applied to the expanded portfolio through the application of the latest geological concepts and exploration technologies," he said.

Bristow said Barrick was committed to broadening its partnership with Ma'aden in the region and to playing its part in realizing the Saudi Arabian government's vision of growing a diversified and sustainable mining industry in the country.

Ma'aden indicated that it is one of the fastest growing mining and mineral materials companies in the world and the largest mining company in the Middle East. Nationally, it aspires to be Saudi Arabia's national mining champion and to explore more growth opportunities in the fields of phosphate, aluminium, gold, base metals and industrial minerals while seeking to stimulate the growth of the mining sector as a whole.

Globally, Ma'aden is pursuing a strategy of growth by leveraging from the Saudi resources and investing in acquisitive and expansionary growth ventures related to the mining industry.

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