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Barrick committed to expand copper holdings in Africa

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Mark Bristow, President and CEO of Barrick Gold Corporation. Image credit: Barrick Gold Corporation.

Barrick committed to expand copper holdings in Africa

Barrick Gold Corporation is committed to expand its copper holdings into Africa. This was the message from Barrick’s President and CEO Mark Bristow at a media briefing held earlier this week.    

“The transformation of the Lumwana mine in Zambia from a marginal copper asset into a world-class operation demonstrates the commitment of Barrick Gold to expand its copper holdings in Africa and globally,” said Bristow.

According to Bristow, Lumwana’s fortunes had been turned around completely since 2019.

Lumwana’s life has been extended and it has been built into a profitable business, with significant growth opportunities. A solid performance in 2022 has kept it on track to achieve its annual production guidance.

Now one of Zambia’s largest copper producers, the mine employs more than 4,400 people, 99.3% of them Zambian nationals. It has an exceptional safety record, with no fatalities since 2016 and a lost time injury frequency rate of less than 1.0% over the past 10 years.

A volume driven mine (Barrick committed to expand copper holdings in Africa)

As a lower-grade mine, Lumwana is volume-driven and there is a strong focus on driving down operational costs by achieving efficiencies through scaled operations.

“This year’s production has already benefited from the improved runtimes provided by a new fleet of trucks and shovels. The planned upgrade of the conveyor system will secure steady ore delivery to the plant, boosting throughput and production next year,” said Bristow.

Promising drill results at the Lubwe satellite target has increased the Lumwana team’s confidence that they will be able to develop a super pit and still keep producing at today’s rates and more.

Should the super pit prove viable, it will substantially extend the mine’s life with a two-year pre-feasibility study scheduled to commence in 2023.

In addition to Lubwe, the assessment of the Kamaranda and Kababisa prospects is ongoing with drill programmes planned for the fourth quarter and potential to add additional satellites.

“It’s worth noting that the government’s new mineral royalty tax regime, scheduled to come into effect in January next year, will unlock additional free cash flow for Barrick, allowing us to reinvest in Lumwana,” said Bristow.

Barrick committed to expand copper holdings in Africa

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