JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Junior exploration is an “absolutely critical” component of a sustainable mining industry, and “it is something that we neglect”, Barrick president and CEO Dr Mark Bristow has told the London Indaba.
“We are always engaged in exploration and we are always talking to the junior explorers,” said Bristow. The Africa-linked Randgold Resources that Bristow ran before merging it with Barrick four years ago had a highly successful discover and develop strategy that resulted in a discovered cost per ounce being considerably lower than the ounces other gold companies were acquiring through mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
When M&A opportunities manifested themselves, they were grasped well beyond the operational assets into major additional asset building through brownfield operation around the assets acquired. The surrounding exploration potential was invariably assessed in cases where assets were acquired and measured against a proven discovery and development yardstick.