Barrick Gold Corporation’s Kibali mine is on track to deliver at the upper end of its 2020 guidance, president and chief executive Mark Bristow said here today.
Kibali was the first underground gold mine in the DRC and one of the largest in the world. It is a global leader in automation and continues to improve efficiency and productivity through ongoing technological innovation. In the third quarter it set a new ore delivery record from underground, exceeding nameplate for the first time since the shaft was commissioned in 2018.
“Automation is often associated with reduced employment but we use it as an opportunity to further upskill our workers and to reduce our need for expatriate specialists. It is worth noting that Kibali – one of Barrick’s elite corps of Tier One mines – is led by a predominantly Congolese management team in line with our policy of employing and advancing host country nationals,” Bristow said.
A Tier One mine is one capable of producing at least 500,000 ounces of gold annually for at least 10 years at the lower end of the industry’s cost profile. Bristow said brownfields exploration was extending Kibali’s life by replacing reserves depleted by mining. Barrick’s exploration teams are also hunting for the next Kibali elsewhere in the DRC.
During the past quarter, battery technology was successfully integrated into the Kibali power grid to augment the mine’s three hydropower stations and offset the cyclical load of the winder. In line with Barrick’s global move to cleaner energy sources, the new technology will further reduce the mine’s carbon footprint and use of thermal power.
Following a meeting with President Tshisekedi today Bristow said they had agreed that Kibali had brought a thriving local economy to what was previously one of the most deprived regions in the DRC.
The Kibali gold mine is located in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, approximately 220 kilometres east of the capital of the Haut Uele province, Isiro, 150 kilometres west of the Ugandan border town of Arua and 1,800 kilometres from the Kenyan port of Mombasa.
The mine is owned by Kibali Goldmines SA which is a joint venture company effectively owned 45% by each of Barrick and AngloGold Ashanti, and 10% by Société Miniére de Kilo-Moto (SOKIMO). The mine is operated by Barrick.