Global gold major Barrick on Tuesday reported a new discovery hole about 2 km 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 mine through the combination of Fourmile with the nearby Goldrush development project.
Fourmile was not included in the recent combination of Barrick and Newmont Goldcorp’s Nevada operations to create the Nevada Gold Mines, but it has the right to bring it into the joint venture for full market value provided certain agreed investment criteria are met.
In a statement issued following CEO Mark Bristow’s speech at the Denver Gold Forum, the company said that the intercept was of a new orebody, north of Fourmile. It increased the strike length of the mineralised Goldrush-Fourmile trend to greater than 6 km.
Mineralisation was open in all directions and significant resource growth was 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 has six profitable Tier 1 assets with tangible prospects for future value creation.
Bristow said that production was trending towards the top end of the 5.1-million- to 5.6-million-ounce guidance range, while costs were likely to be at the lower end of the cost forecasts.
“The market is starting to recognise 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 third-quarter 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.”
Commenting on the closing of Barrick’s acquisition of the Acacia minorities’ shareholding, Bristow said that the miner would now proceed unfettered to address the issues that had previously plagued the company.
He said that a Barrick team was at work on the ground to “fix these assets operationally, restore their social licence 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.