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Barrick on track to extend Lumwana mine life beyond 2060

7th July 2023

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online


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Dual-listed Barrick Gold Corporation has affirmed that the Lumwana copper mine, in Zambia, is showing growing potential for a life-of-mine beyond 2060.

In a media statement, Barrick president and CE Mark Bristow confirms that the company’s drive to transform the openpit mine into a tier-one asset is picking up speed, with a strong performance in the past quarter adding impetus to its continuing production ramp-up.

Bristow elaborates that a tier-one copper asset is one with a reserve potential of greater than five-million tonnes of contained copper and C1 cash costs per pound over the mine life that are in the lower half of the industry cost curve.

The mine is currently set to produce between 260-million and 290-million pounds of copper this year, at a C1 cash cost of between $2/lb and $2.20/lb.

The company is assessing additional expansion opportunities at the mine, including on the high-grade Kababisa prospect, which Bristow says can add mining flexibility through higher grades.

This while the Lumwana prefeasibility study is progressing in line with plans to transform its long-term copper profile through the delivery of an envisioned “super pit”.

Lumwana’s proven and probable reserves currently stand at 6.2-billion pounds, with measured and indicated copper resources sitting at 13-billion pounds.

The mine became a key area of focus for Barrick to expand its strategic copper portfolio in Africa in 2019 and has since contributed more than $2.3-billion to Zambia’s economy in the form of taxes, royalties, salaries and purchases from local suppliers.

Barrick last year spent $432-million on local procurement, which made up 83% of its total procurement, in keeping with its commitment to local employment and local business support.

The company also recently launched a Business Accelerator Programme to build the capacity of Zambian contractors in the mining supply chain.

Bristow concludes that apart from its solid production profile, Lumwana is a participant in the United Nations’ REDD+ project, which is designed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from deforestation, with the mine having engaged with its communities on this initiative.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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