Canada-based Barrick Gold’s Kibali mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is on track to deliver at the upper end of its 2020 guidance, president and CE Mark Bristow says.
Kibali was the first underground gold mine in the DRC and has a production outlook previously set at between 340 000 and 370 000 gold ounces for this year.
The project also set a new ore delivery record from underground in the third quarter of the year, where it exceeded nameplate capacity for the first time since the shaft was commissioned in 2018.
Barrick says a tier one mine is one capable of producing at least 500 000 oz/y of gold for at least a decade at the lower end of the industry’s cost profile. Bristow says brownfield exploration is extending Kibali’s life by replacing reserves depleted by mining.
Barrick’s exploration teams are also hunting for “the next Kibali” elsewhere in the DRC.
Meanwhile, during the third quarter, battery technology was successfully integrated into the Kibali power grid to augment the mine’s three hydropower stations and offset the cyclical load of the winder.
In line with Barrick’s global move to cleaner energy sources, the new technology will further reduce the mine’s carbon footprint and use of thermal power.
“The continuing paved extension to the Durba road will provide construction work for local contractors for the next three years. Community support continues to be reinforced through other initiatives such as the Renzi agribusiness project and the planned palm oil project.
"We also remain committed to transferring skills to the community, and the upgrading of the Kokiza Training Centre for engineers is scheduled to start later this year,” Bristow comments.
Additionally, utility buildings initially built as isolation wards during the Ebola outbreak and subsequently used as a quarantine centre for Covid-19 cases, will now be transitioned to a tropical disease centre to serve local communities, he adds.