Loulo Gold Mine, Mali – Barrick Gold Corporation continues to invest in creating value for all stakeholders and in supporting the communities that host its mines, president and chief executive Mark Bristow said here today.
Speaking to media at the company’s Loulo-Gounkoto complex, Bristow noted the commissioning of the Gounkoto underground mine and the Gara West open pit, the continuing replacement of reserves, the extension of the solar power plant and the further strengthening of local partnerships as instances of the company’s long-term commitment to the country.
“In the first half of the year we’ve contributed $337 million to the Malian economy in the form of taxes, royalties, dividends, salaries and payments to local suppliers, taking the lifetime contribution of Barrick, previously Randgold, to $8.5 billion. We’re particularly proud of the fact the Gara West pit is being mined for us by two Malian contractors we have mentored,” he said.
At the halfway mark of the year, the complex is on track to meet its production guidance for 2022, replace annual reserve depletion to further extend its mine life, and maintain its exemplary safety record, with no lost time injuries or major environmental events during the past quarter.
It continues to invest in sustainable economic community projects, establishing a motel, a farm for Kenieba women and three water supply systems during the quarter. The Loulo agricultural college, designed as the foundation of a sustainable regional agribusiness, has already trained 21 women and 143 men and created 30 farms.
Since the opening of the mine, Loulo-Gounkoto has built 20 schools in its neighbouring villages, taking student enrolment from 500 to more than 5,000. Seventy-eight of them are currently benefitting from the complex’s bursary program and Loulo-Gounkoto is also supporting teachers’ salaries.
“First as Randgold and now as Barrick, we’ve been operating in Mali for 25 years and we plan to be here for at least as long again. The strong and mutually rewarding partnerships we have forged with the government, local business partners and our host communities are the key to our success and an example to Africa’s other mining countries,” Bristow said.