LOULO GOLD MINE, Mali – Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD) (TSX:ABX) and its predecessor, Randgold Resources, has been a valuable partner to Mali for 27 years and, in the face of many challenges, continues to work tirelessly with the Transition Government of Mali and local stakeholders to plot a new course for the country’s mining industry and promote it as an investment destination, says president and chief executive Mark Bristow.
Speaking to media here today, Bristow said during this time its mines had contributed almost $10 billion to the Malian economy in the form of taxes, royalties, salaries and payments to local suppliers. Over the past 10 years, they have accounted for between 5% and 10% of Mali’s GDP and over Loulo-Gounkoto’s life the state has received more than 70% of the economic benefits it generated. Barrick has also developed a world-class local skill base, evidenced by the fact that its flagship Loulo-Gounkoto complex is managed by an entirely Malian team.
As a Tier One1 mining complex, Loulo-Gounkoto ranks among the world’s largest gold producers, and its consistently strong performance makes it a major contributor to Barrick’s bottom line. This year successful brownfields drilling again more than replaced the reserves depleted by mining while continuing exploration has identified new high-priority targets with the potential to deliver the Loulo district’s next generation of world-class discoveries.
During the past quarter Loulo’s solar farm extension to 60 megawatts and its new battery energy storage system were commissioned, in line with Barrick’s global commitment to increasing its use of renewable energy sources. Its community development projects included the completion of a water distribution system which will serve 13,000 people in the Kunda village.