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Barrick’s data-driven exploration in Tanzania

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Barrick’s data-driven exploration in Tanzania
TSX listed Lake Victoria Gold’s Tembo Project originally comprised seven prospecting licenses adjacent to Barrick Gold’s Bulyanhulu Mine located in the Lake Victoria goldfield of northern Tanzania. Image credit: Lake Victoria Gold

Barrick’s data-driven exploration in Tanzania

Barrick Gold and Lake Victoria Gold’s phased exploration approach in Tanzania allows for data-driven decision-making.

TSX listed Lake Victoria Gold’s Tembo Project originally comprised seven prospecting licenses adjacent to Barrick Gold’s Bulyanhulu Mine located in the Lake Victoria goldfield of northern Tanzania.

In late 2021 Lake Victoria Gold sold six of its non-core prospecting licenses in the Tembo project to Barrick.

With the sale Barrick committed to conduct exploration on the acquired licenses over four years, spending a minimum of USD9-million.

Barrick also agreed to pay Lake Victoria Gold contingent payments totalling up to USD45-million calculated on the inferred, indicated, and measured gold mineral resources identified on the acquired licenses.

Recent activity by Barrick in the area includes a broad spaced aircore drilling program (50m borehole interval along 400m spaced lines) through Mbuga filled valleys.

The aim of the drilling program is to establish the geochemical and geological framework beneath this cover.

By the end of the fourth quarter of 2023 Barrick had completed 382 drill holes totalling 5607m. Although the onset of an above average rain season has interrupted the exploration operation, drilling is scheduled to continue in the second quarter of 2024.

To date Barrick has spent about 18% of the expenditure requirement over the four-year commitment period.

According to Lake Victoria Barrick is expected to spend approximately USD2-million through April 2025 (USD500,000 on continued Aircore drilling, USD750,000 on 6000m of targeted Reverse Circulation drilling, and USD750,000 on 2500m of structural and geological framework Diamond drilling).

Commitment to thorough exploration (Barrick’s data-driven exploration in Tanzania)

According to Marc Cernovitch, President and CEO at Lake Victoria Gold, Barrick’s expenditure reflects a commitment to thorough exploration.

“With a substantial budget allocated for various drilling techniques aimed at different depths and geological targets, Barrick’s focus is on both broad exploration and targeted drilling to refine the understanding of the geological framework.

“This phased approach allows for data-driven decision-making for future drilling operations and potential resource development, says Cernovitch.

Progress at Imwelo (Barrick’s data-driven exploration in Tanzania)

Meanwhile, Lake Victoria Gold has made significant progress ats it Imwelo Mining License (ML).

The recent Fair Competition Commission approval for the acquisition of Imwelo represents an important regulatory milestone, moving the project closer to the transfer of the ML.

According to Simon Benstead, Executive Chairman and CFO of Lake Victoria Gold, the Tanzania Revenue Authority is in the process of assessing the capital gains tax due on this transaction, with a decision expected shortly.

“This tax assessment and payment is crucial as it represents the final hurdle before the official transfer of the ML,” says Benstead.

Benstead says that the Imwelo project has made significant progress since final detailed engineering design began in November 2023.

“With the commencement of preparatory earthworks and infrastructure development, the project is moving forward as planned.

“The clearing and stockpiling of topsoil at the tailings storage facility and open pit location mark important preparatory steps for the upcoming construction.

“The ball mill (longest lead item) is on order with a deposit paid, and its refurbishment underway.

“Compensation for landowners, a critical aspect of the project’s community relations, is nearly complete for the second open pit mining area.

“The completion of a 300,000-liter water tank is a significant milestone, ensuring the project’s construction water supply needs are met.

“The construction and commissioning phase is on a clear timeline, expected to take approximately 12 months following the closing of acquisition and financing.

“The Company has also submitted a ten-year renewal application for the ML to the Tanzania Mining Commission in order to secure the project’s long-term operational viability. Overall, these developments reflect a project that is well underway and advancing towards its operational phase.”

Benstead says that although the process of closing the acquisition of Imwelo has taken longer than the company anticipated they are now very close to the finish line.

WhyAfrica will visit the Lake Victoria goldfield region during our 2024 WhyAfrica Road Trip through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, and Tanzania.

During the trip we will visit close to 30 project sites, interview almost 40 people and traverse five countries in 45 days.

Remember that WhyAfrica members will receive daily updates during the 2024 WhyAfrica Road Trip. To become a member, visit the WhyAfrica website, your one-stop shop for on the ground information about Africa and the sustainable utilisation and responsible extraction of natural resources in Africa.

We still have a number of great partnership, sponsorship and advertising opportunities available, so contact us if you want to become part of the African story.

Barrick’s data-driven exploration in Tanzania

Barrick’s data-driven exploration in Tanzania
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