Global miner Barrick Gold Corporation has announced its Kibali mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is on track to replace its reserves beyond the ounces mined in the prior year and maintain a ten-year life-of-mine at a tier-one operation.
The company’s 45%-owned Kibali mine produced 750 000 oz in 2022 and has successfully replaced its reserves beyond the ounces mined for three years.
Barrick president and CEO Mark Bristow says in a statement released on January 30 that Kibali’s prolific orebody continues to deliver additional value, with current drilling at the mine focused on converting resources into reserves and exploring the lodes which are still open down plunge.
He adds that the Mengu Hill, Ikanva and Gorumbwa targets are showing potential for joining Kibali’s underground portfolio.
As the mine continues to deliver dividends to shareholders – distributing $90-million to shareholders in 2022 – it is also becoming increasingly cost efficient and environment friendly, with three hydropower stations supplying much of its energy requirements and a new 17 MW solar plant and 15 MW battery system being built.
The solar plant will raise the renewables component of the mine’s energy mix from 81% to 93% once it starts operating in 2025.
The mine’s green credentials also include a continuing reduction in the use of fresh water from the Kibali river and a reforestation programme which, to date, has planted more than 10 000 trees.
Kibali also supports the country’s biodiversity efforts, such as the DRC’s Garamba National Park sourcing an initial 16 Southern White rhinos from South Africa as a reintroduction exercise of the animal in the country, which will be followed by another 60 rhinos over the next three years.
The mine is targeting net zero emissions by 2050.
Step-out drilling at the Mengu Hill prospect has confirmed continuity of a high-grade 400 m down plunge mineralisation, while a diamond drill hole at the Agbarabo prospect has confirmed a 250 m continuation of mineralisation.
Drilling at the Zambula and Oere have demonstrated significant mineralisation, which respectively highlight openpit and underground mining opportunities.
In particular, the Mengu Hill prospect could be a standalone satellite underground project. Results from this prospect include 12.84 m of gold grading 6.33 g/t from 435 m.
Barrick plans on converting more inferred resources to indicated resources, as well as converting resources to reserves in 2023.
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