Toronto – Barrick Gold Corporation grew attributable proven and probable gold mineral reserves by 5.0 million ounces before 2023 depletion, while continuing to maintain the quality of the mineral reserve base. Attributable proven and probable mineral reserves now stand at 77 million ounces at 1.65g/t, increasing from 76 million ounces at 1.67g/t in 2022. Led by the Africa & Middle East region, Barrick has delivered a third consecutive year of organic gold reserve growth over and above annual depletion. This unremitting focus on asset quality has successfully delivered replacement of over 140%4 of the company’s gold reserve depletion since end of year 2019, adding almost 29 million ounces of attributable proven and probable reserves or 44 million ounces4 of proven and probable reserves on a 100% basis (excluding acquisitions and divestments).
Successful drilling programs at Lumwana drove the growth of proven and probable copper reserves by 330 thousand tonnes of copper in 2023. As a result, Barrick replaced 124% of annual global copper depletion at a consistent quality, effectively maintaining attributable proven and probable copper mineral reserves of 5.6 million tonnes2 at 0.39% in 2023.
Attributable measured and indicated gold resources for 2023 stand at 180 million ounces2 at 1.06g/t, with a further 39 million ounces at 0.8g/t of inferred resources. Attributable measured and indicated copper resources for 2023 stand at 21 million tonnes2 of copper at 0.39%, with a further 7.1 million tonnes2 of copper at 0.4% of inferred resources. Mineral resources are reported inclusive of reserves and are based on a gold price of $1,700/oz and an updated copper price of $4.00/lb for 2023.
President and chief executive Mark Bristow said Barrick’s strategy of investing in organic growth through exploration and mineral resource management has set us apart within the industry, creating real value through discovery and development, rather than relying upon increases in commodity prices to provide value to high premium mergers and acquisitions.
“In order for our industry to help build a better world, we have to invest in our own future by creating value through exploration, leveraging our capital infrastructure base by replacing the ounces that we mine, which in turn enables us to provide multi-generational investment in our communities, developing local service provider partnerships, and investing in improving our operating environments” said Bristow.
Mineral Resource Management and Evaluation Executive Simon Bottoms stated that the company’s reserves at a price of $1,300/oz for gold and $3.00/lb for copper demonstrate the quality differentiation of our assets relative to our peers. “Barrick’s core focus on geologically driven asset management, not only underpins the company’s reserve replacement record, but is also key in unlocking the embedded organic growth portfolio to increase the production profile to approximately 6.5 million gold equivalent ounces5 per year by the end of this decade, as both the Reko Diq and Lumwana Super Pit expansion projects are on track to complete their respective feasibility studies by the end of 2024” said Bottoms.
The Africa & Middle East region, replaced 165% of the regional 2023 gold reserve depletion, led by Loulo-Gounkoto, with extensions of the high grade Yalea orebody, delivering a 1.1 million ounce2 increase in attributable proven and probable reserves before depletion. Bulyanhulu also delivered strong results through the extension of Reef 1 and Reef 2 near surface mineralization, with updated feasibility studies supporting an additional surface decline access portal for each Reef, adding 0.9 million ounces2 to attributable proven and probable reserves. At Kibali, the ongoing conversion drilling in the 11000 lode in KCD underground combined with the conversion of some satellite pit resources delivered a 0.47 million ounce2 increase in attributable proven and probable reserves before depletion.
The Lumwana copper mineral reserve base also grew by 6% year on year, net of depletion, as a result of ongoing conversion drilling in the Malundwe Pit. This also resulted in the updated 2023 measured and indicated copper resources for Lumwana, which stand at 7.1 million tonnes2 of copper at 0.52%, with a further 4 million tonnes2 of copper at 0.4% of inferred resources, which are expected to provide the foundation for a Tier One Copper Asset6 with the completion of the Super Pit Expansion feasibility study in 2024.
Within the Latin America & Asia Pacific region, a pre-feasibility study was completed on the expansion of the leach pad supporting an additional pushback in the open pit at Veladero, resulting in 2023 attributable proven and probable gold reserves for the region of 27 million ounces2 at 0.96g/t. Updates to the Reko Diq5 mineral resources reflect ongoing feasibility study updates, resulting in an attributable measured and indicated mineral resource of 8.3 million tonnes2 of copper at 0.43% with 14 million ounces of gold at 0.25g/t, and an attributable inferred mineral resource of 2.2 million tonnes of copper at 0.3% with 3.8 million ounces2 of gold at 0.2g/t.
In North America, ongoing growth programs at Turquoise Ridge, Leeville Underground in Carlin and Robertson in Cortez added 1.9 million ounces2 of gold on an attributable basis before annual depletion, effectively replacing more than 80% of annual depletion. This resulted in sustaining attributable proven and probable mineral reserves for the region of 31 million ounces at 2.45g/t for 2023. At the same time, attributable gold measured and indicated mineral resources for the region stand at 68 million ounces2 at 2.10g/t, while updated inferred attributable gold resources grew to 18 million ounces2 at 2.1 g/t. Looking forward to 2024, the regional mineral resource base is forecast to be a key driver of future growth. As part of this, a comprehensive evaluation program and dedicated study team will evaluate the strike length of the 100% owned Fourmile deposit, targeting an update to mineral resources at the end of 2024, which will inform Barrick’s decision on commencement of a pre-feasibility study.