07 February 2021 – The underground mine at Kibali, one of the prime gold mining projects in Africa, achieved record monthly and quarterly ore production in December 2020 and therefore WhyAfrica’s Hawks Eye is on Barrick’s Kibali gold mine in the DRC.
This performance was driven by its underground operation which achieved record monthly and quarterly ore production in December and quarter 4 (Q4) of 2020. Kibali is a world leader in automated underground mining, through systems that allow multiple autonomous machines to operate on the same haulage and production levels and provide real-time visibility of all operations as well as automated control of the ventilation fans.
Leading-edge technology is also being harnessed elsewhere at Kibali and the successful commissioning of an on-line particle size analyser will optimise fine grinding on its ultrafine grind (UFG) mills.
Kibali has, since commissioning, consistently lowered its carbon emissions thanks to its three hydropower stations and the implementation of predictive maintenance monitoring at these plants will further minimise downtime. Its new battery-based reactive power support system has further reduced the mine’s reliance on back-up thermal power.
At the same time, Kibali has retained its focus on exploration and resource conversion and looks set to once again replace the ounces depleted by mining, thus extending the life of the mine. Its open-pit operation is set up for a solid year with development of the access to the Sessenge orebody completed ahead of plan. A robust open-pit component has been included in the mine plan and will provide additional processing flexibility to the plant over the next 10 years.
Kibali donated more than USD2-million to the DRC government in the form of equipment to support the national campaign against the Covid-19 pandemic. The mine has also partnered with the National Laboratory Institution in training medical staff to diagnose the disease.
According to Mark Bristow, president and CEO at Barrick, the mine has continued to invest in community improvement projects and skills development programs to deliver more local Congolese managers and technicians. The mine has also invested significant capital into the construction of the Watsa/Durba concrete road.
“Kibali’s policy of supporting and mentoring local contractors and suppliers has created a new economic frontier in this remote region. Last year we spent more than USD200-million with local businesses on services such as civil construction, roadworks, plant maintenance, trucking and catering,” says Bristow.
Kibali continues to produce at record levels and is one of the top picks in any African investment portfolio. Under the steady hand of Mark Bristow, Barrick, and Kibali will go from strength to strength and therefore WhyAfrica’s Hawks Eye is on Barricks Kibali gold mine in the DRC.