Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX-TSX; GOLD-NYSE] President and CEO Mark Bristow said the life of Barrick’s Veladero gold mine in Argentina has been extended to at least 10 years following a comprehensive review of the company’s strategy and business plan.
Bristow made the comments while briefing an Argentinian audience of local media, government authorities and local business and community leaders about the mine’s progress from Barrick’s offices in Chile. The briefing was broadcast via a video conference to comply with Covid-19 related travel restrictions imposed by Argentina.
“Our review included the reinterpretation of the mine’s geology and an ongoing infill drilling campaign,” Bristow said. “We established exploration and resource management teams to identify satellite orebodies with the potential to deliver an increase in resources and reserves,” he said. “Our aim is to extend Veladero’s life-of-mine beyond 2030 and elevate it to a Tier One asset.”
Barrick defines a Tier One mine as one that produces in excess of 500,000 ounces of gold per annum and has a life of at least 10 years.
Bristow said the next step in Veladero’s transformation would be to connect the mine to cleaner, cheaper power from the grid in neighbouring Chile. Once commissioned in the second half of this year, this could halve the mines carbon footprint and potentially reduce its cut-off grade, creating the opportunity to further increase mineable reserves.
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