DENVER – Barrick Gold Corp.’s president and chief executive officer, Mark Bristow, has announced a new discovery hole in Nevada at the Fourmile gold exploration site near the Goldrush development project at Cortez.
Bristow reported the drilling results at the Denver Gold Forum on Sept. 17, stating that “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.”
The new discovery is roughly 1.25 miles from what the company terms the best-ever drilling intercept at Fourmile, which is not part of the Nevada Gold Mines LLC joint venture of Barrick and Newmont Goldcorp Corp., at least not yet. Barrick has the right under agreement to bring it into the joint venture when investment criteria are met.
The joint venture finalized July 1 covers all the active mining and ranching operations in Nevada that were run separately by Barrick and Newmont. Barrick is the JV operator. Barrick owns 61.5 percent and Newmont, 38.5 percent of Nevada Gold Mines.
Bristow said at the forum that diligent exploration and detailed geological modeling had led to effective targeting at Fourmile. The intercept is a new orebody north of the current Fourmile site. This find increases the strike length of the mineralized Goldrush-Fourmile trend to more than 3.7 miles.
According to Bristow, the new discovery increases the potential for the combination of Fourmile and nearby Goldrush into a major mining operation.
Looking at all Barrick Gold operations worldwide, he told the Denver Gold Forum “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.”
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He said that since the merger with Randgold on Jan. 1, the business is generating significantly higher profits and free cash flows and is supported by six profitable top-tier assets and tangible prospects for future projects.
“The market is starting to recognize and reward this performance, and it’s worth noting that the Barrick share price has increased 90 percent since the Randgold deal announcement a year ago, outstripping the GDX index and the spot gold price by a wide margin.”
The spot gold price on Sept. 18 was at $1,493.90 per ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange after hitting $1,500 an ounce on Sept. 17.
Bristow said Barrick plans to release details of its five-year plan when it publishes 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.
Bristow said, however, that the company has more to do in Latin America and Tanzania. Barrick’s acquisition of Acacia minorities shareholding closed on Sept. 17, clearing the way for Barrick to address issues in Tanzania. Barrick has reopened the North Mara Mine and shipping of concentrates is expected to resume shortly.
Acacia’s London office has been closed, and the Tanzinia mines have been integrated into Barrick’s Africa and Middle East region. That is providing cost savings, according to Barrick. A British court approved Barrick’s $1.2 billion takeover of Acacia Mining Plc last week.