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Barrick increases gold reserves by 10% to 76 million ounces in 2022, more than doubles copper resources

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - Barrick Gold (NYSE:GOLD)(TSX:ABX), the world's second largest gold producer, said today it grew attributable proven and probable gold mineral reserves by 10% to 76 million ounces net of depletion in 2022, while maintaining grade despite an increase in the reserve price assumption.

According to a company press release, reported at $1,300/oz, attributable proven and probable mineral reserves now stand at 76 million ounces at 1.67g/t, increasing from 69 million ounces at 1.71g/t reported at $1,200/oz in 2021.

"Led by Pueblo Viejo and the Africa & Middle East region, Barrick has now delivered a second consecutive year of gold reserve growth over and above annual depletion, with nearly 12 million ounces of attributable proven and probable reserve gains in 2022 before depletion," Barrick said.

The company added that successful exploration at both the Lumwana and Jabal Sayid mines drove the growth of attributable proven and probable copper reserves by 640 million pounds, notwithstanding an increase in the annual reserve price assumption to $3.00/lb.

"As a result, Barrick replaced 103% of annual global depletion at consistent quality, effectively maintaining attributable proven and probable copper mineral reserves of 12 billion pounds at 0.38% in 2022," it said.

Importantly, the company noted that total attributable gold mineral resources grew by nearly 10% relative to 2021, and total attributable copper mineral resources more than doubled, growing by 124% year over year, both net of annual depletion.

"This growth was driven by the successful completion of a preliminary economic assessment supporting the Lumwana Super Pit expansion, and the incorporation of Reko Diq following the reconstitution of the project in December 2022," Barrick said in a statement.

The company's attributable measured and indicated gold resources (inclusive of reserves) for 2022 stand at 180 million ounces at 1.07g/t, with a further 42 million ounces at 0.8g/t of inferred resources. Attributable measured and indicated copper resources (inclusive of reserves) for 2022 stand at 44 billion pounds at 0.39%, with a further 15 billion pounds at 0.4% of inferred resources.

President and chief executive Mark Bristow said in a sector of diminishing reserves and resources, Barrick's strategy of investing in organic growth through exploration and mineral resource management has replenished and delivered significant value within the company's asset base.

"While we continue to evaluate all new opportunities against our strategic filters, we have always believed that finding our ounces is better than buying them, and this year's resource and reserve statement showcases the unmatched potential of our organic growth pipeline," said Bristow.

Mineral Resource Management and Evaluation Executive Simon Bottoms stated that basing the company's reserve calculations at a price of $1,300/oz for gold and $3.00/lb for copper underpins Barrick's focus on quality assets.

"The substantial growth in our mineral resources lays the long-term foundation to potentially grow our current attributable production profile of approximately 5.5 million gold equivalent ounces per year to approximately 6.5 million gold equivalent ounces per year by the end of this decade, which would include production from Reko Diq and the Lumwana Super Pit," said Bottoms.

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