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Barrick’s Loulo-Gounkoto beats guidance

The Mali-based Loulo-Gounkoto complex includes Loulo underground mines, Yalea Gara and the Gounkoto open pit mine. (Image by Randgold Resources)

Barrick Gold’s Loulo-Gounkoto mine complex delivered 680,215 ounces of gold in 2020, exceeding its full-year guidance, despite having faced multiple challenges including the covid-19 pandemic and a military coup in Mali.

The Loulo-Gounkoto complex comprises two distinct mining permits, Loulo and Gounkoto, and is situated in western Mali, bordering Senegal and adjacent to the Falémé River. It has proven and probable
gold reserves of 6.4 million ounces.

“The underground operations have reached a world-class level of automation, hard on the heels of pace-setter Kibali. The two existing underground mines, Yalea and Gara, will shortly be joined by a third when Gounkoto underground delivers its first ore tonnes planned for the second quarter of this year,” Barrick said in a press release.

Loulo commissioned Barrick’s first solar power plant in the Africa and Middle East region, delivering 20MW of capacity into the microgrid. Projects scheduled for completion in 2021 include the commissioning of a water treatment plant, an expansion of power generating capacity and a powerline upgrade to support the new Gounkoto underground mine.

Loulo and Gounkoto paid and declared combined dividends of $240 million for 2020.