Barrick Gold’s (TSX: ABX)(NYSE: GOLD) president and chief executive Mark Bristow said this weekend that the Loulo-Gounkoto complex in Mali is set to maintain its status as one of the world’s top 10 gold producers as it stays on track to meet this year’s guidance set at 510,000 – 560,000 ounces.
Talking to local journalists, Bristow noted that, in addition to the complex’s expected positive performance, it continues to replace the reserves depleted by mining. At present, proven and probable gold reserves have been estimated at 6.7 million ounces with measured and indicated gold resources calculated at 9.1 million ounces.
Barrick’s exploration teams have also discovered new growth opportunities in the Loulo region. Updated geological models have already identified new high-priority targets that could deliver the next generation of major discoveries.
“We remain committed to Mali and, as we invest in future growth here, we look forward to maintaining a mutually beneficial partnership with the authorities and our in-country stakeholders,” the executive said.
Bristow emphasized that, over this time, Barrick has contributed almost $10 billion to the Malian economy through taxes, royalties, salaries and payments to local suppliers. Some 70% of the economic benefit currently generated by the complex goes to its Malian stakeholders. Loulo-Gounkoto has also contributed between 5% and 10% to the Malian GDP over the past 10 years.
“Mali was the birthplace of Barrick’s philosophy of genuine partnerships with its host governments. Close relationships can over time be stressed by misconceptions but in the past, we have always been able to find solutions through open and transparent dialogue,” the CEO said. “Mutually acceptable solutions can be achieved if there is a genuine commitment to seek outcomes that deliver real and long-term value for Mali and its people.”