Barrick Gold Corporation yesterday reported a new discovery hole about 2 kilometers from the best ever drilling intercept at its Fourmile project in Nevada and said this pointed to the delivery of at least one more Tier 1 gold mine through the combination of Fourmile with the nearby Goldrush development project. Barrick did not include Fourmile in the recent combination of its Nevada assets with those of Newmont Goldcorp to create the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture, but has the right to bring it into the joint venture for full market value provided certain agreed investment criteria are met.
Speaking at the Denver Gold Forum Americas, Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow said diligent exploration and detailed geological modelling had led to effective targeting at Fourmile. The intercept (FM19-11DW14) is of a new orebody a kilometer north of Fourmile. It increases the strike length of the mineralized Goldrush-Fourmile trend to greater than 6 kilometres. Mineralization is open in all directions and significant resource growth is expected from continuing the step-out drilling programme.
“Discovery is fundamental to value creation and the latest results from Fourmile confirm the potential for further high-value discoveries in the greater Cortez – Carlin region which has been a prolific source of gold discovery and production for 150 years, and still holds an untapped wealth of geological endowment,” Bristow said.
Reporting on Barrick’s performance since the merger with Randgold at the beginning of the year, Bristow said the business was generating significantly higher profits and free cash flows. The business was well supported by six profitable Tier 1 assets with tangible prospects for future value creation, and Barrick now boasts one of the strongest balance sheets among its industry peers.
“We’re well positioned to achieve our targets for the year. Production is trending towards the top end of the 5.1 to 5.6-million-ounce guidance range while costs are likely to be at the lower end of the cost forecasts. The market is starting to recognize and reward this performance, and it’s worth noting that the Barrick share price has increased by 90% since the Randgold deal announcement a year ago, outstripping the GDX index and the spot gold price by a wide margin,” he said.
Bristow said details of Barrick’s five-year plan would be shared with the market when it publishes its Q3 results in November.
“Our aim is to make the Barrick brand synonymous with value creation. That value will be generated by its existing Top Tier operational base of long-life mines, located within world-class geological provinces and run by management teams that can unlock and bring to account opportunities where others have failed,” he said.
“But there is also a lot more to be done, notably in Latin America and Tanzania, and you can be sure that we remain unrelenting in our quest to be the industry leader in value creation and delivery.”
Bristow noted that Barrick’s acquisition of the Acacia minorities’ shareholding had closed that day and it could now proceed unfettered to address the issues that had previously plagued the company. A Barrick team was already hard at work on the ground to fix these assets operationally, restore their social license and repair their relationship with the government and other local stakeholders. The team is making significant progress: North Mara has been reopened and the shipping of concentrates is expected to resume shortly. Acacia’s London office has been closed and the mines integrated into Barrick’s Africa and Middle Eastern region, with a significant saving in corporate and overhead costs.