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New underground mine to extend life of Barrick’s Loulo-Gounkoto gold complex

Loulo Gounkoto underground. Image from Barrick.

The Loulo-Gounkoto gold complex in Mali continues to replace the ore depleted by mining, Barrick chief executive Mark Bristow told reporters on Saturday.

Speaking at a media briefing, Bristow said Loulo-Gounkoto was on track to meet its annual production guidance, with its new underground mine at Gounkoto — the complex’s third underground operation — ramping up production. Through successful exploration, it is on track to increase mineral reserves net of depletion for the third successive year and promising results from the Yalea Ridge and Gounkoto-Faraba targets reaffirm the potential for further life-of-mine extensions.

Mines operated in Mali by Barrick and its predecessor Randgold have spent some $8 billion in the country in the form of taxes, royalties, salaries and payments to local suppliers over the past 24 years.

“Loulo-Gounkoto is one of the world’s greatest gold mining operations and it continues to confirm its status as a member of the industry’s elite Tier One1 club as well as the largest private sector contributor to Mali’s GDP,” Bristow said.

Loulo-Gounkoto is maintaining its commitment to the employment and advancement of host country nationals, the company said, in line with Barrick’s global policy, and people from the nearby Kenieba village have been successfully trained to operate key equipment at the new Gounkoto underground mine.