All amounts expressed in US dollars
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, July 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Kibali gold mine remains on track at the year’s halfway point to meet or beat its production forecast of 750,000 ounces for 2019, says Mark Bristow, president and chief executive of operator and co-owner Barrick Gold Corporation.
Speaking at a briefing for local media here today, Bristow said this year marked the 10th anniversary of the acquisition of the Moto project which since then has been developed into one of the largest gold mines in the world, contributing $2.7 billion to the Congolese economy in the process.
It is also now a full year since Kibali became the owner-operator of its underground mine, which ranks as one of the most advanced in the global industry in terms of automation. The system is currently being developed to the next technological level, where it will allow manned and unmanned operations within the same area.
Bristow said a significant feature of autonomous mining was that it had involved the transfer of specialist technical skills from expatriate instructors to Kibali’s Congolese workforce. More than 90% of Kibali’s 5 000 employees and contractors, including its management, are Congolese nationals.
It is also making a substantial contribution to the promotion of the local economy through its support of Congolese contractors and suppliers, which has turned the north-east of the country into a real commercial hub. During the first half of this year, Kibali paid some $79 million to its Congolese business partners. In addition, it continues to develop the infrastructure around the mine through initiatives such as the Durba asphalt project which is paving a section of the main national road to Uganda which runs through the town center. Ambitious agribusiness projects designed to deliver sustainable benefits to the local community are also being advanced.
“Ten years ago, we went to a remote part of Africa and found what we believed was a real world-class opportunity but one which would require a major investment as well as a lot of courage to develop. That opportunity became Kibali, which poured its first gold in September 2013 and ramped up to full production during 2018,” Bristow said.
“We invested in the DRC without any incentives provided by the government, only a clear and equitable mining code. Last year, however, the then Government unilaterally imposed a new code which we believe puts the Congolese mining industry at risk and could discourage future investment. We continue to engage with the Government on this issue, and were encouraged when the new President, his excellency Felix Tshisekedi, outlined his vision, of attracting foreign investment and developing the industry in a spirit of partnership, to Barrick’s executive chairman John Thornton at a meeting earlier this year. It is this partnership that enabled the creation of Kibali and supports Barrick’s search for new world-class gold deposits in the DRC.”
|President and chief executive|
+1 647 205 7694
+44 788 071 1386
|COO, Africa and Middle East|
+44 779 557 5271
+243 820 678 040
|DRC country manager |
+243 812 532 441
|Investor & media relations|
Kathy du Plessis
+44 20 7557 7738
Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information
Certain information contained in this press release, including any information as to Barrick’s strategy, plans, or future financial or operating performance, constitutes “forward-looking statements”. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. The words “will”, “develop”, “advance”, “continue”, “enable”, “engage” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. In particular, this press release contains forward-looking statements including, without limitation, with respect to: 2019 operating performance and production guidance with respect to the Kibali mine; potential advancements in automation technology and the transfer of related technical skills; value-creating projects including infrastructure and agribusiness projects; engagement with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo in relation to a new mining code introduced last year; and future contributions to the economy of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions; including material estimates and assumptions related to the factors set forth below that, while considered reasonable by Barrick as at the date of this press release in light of management’s experience and perception of current conditions and expected developments, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Known and unknown factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements and information. Such factors include, but are not limited to: the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development; changes in mineral production performance, exploitation, and exploration successes; diminishing quantities or grades of reserves; changes in national and local government legislation, taxation, controls, or regulations and/or changes in the administration of laws, policies, and practices, expropriation or nationalization of property and political or economic developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo; lack of certainty with respect to foreign legal systems, corruption, and other factors that are inconsistent with the rule of law; risk of loss due to acts of war, terrorism, sabotage and civil disturbances; fluctuations in the spot and forward price of gold, copper, or certain other commodities (such as silver, diesel fuel, natural gas, and electricity); timing of receipt of, or failure to comply with, necessary permits and approvals; failure to comply with environmental and health and safety laws and regulations; litigation; damage to the Barrick’s reputation due to the actual or perceived occurrence of any number of events, including negative publicity with respect to the Barrick’s handling of environmental matters or dealings with community groups, whether true or not; increased costs, delays, suspensions, and technical challenges associated with the construction of capital projects; operating or technical difficulties in connection with mining or development activities, including geotechnical challenges, and disruptions in the maintenance or provision of required infrastructure and information technology systems; the impact of global liquidity and credit availability on the timing of cash flows and the values of assets and liabilities based on projected future cash flows; the impact of inflation; fluctuations in the currency markets; contests over title to properties, particularly title to undeveloped properties, or over access to water, power, and other required infrastructure; employee relations including loss of key employees; increased costs and physical risks, including extreme weather events and resource shortages, related to climate change; and availability and increased costs associated with mining inputs and labor. In addition, there are risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development, and mining, including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected formations, pressures, cave-ins, flooding, and gold bullion, copper cathode, or gold or copper concentrate losses (and the risk of inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance, to cover these risks).
Many of these uncertainties and contingencies can affect our actual results and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, us. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. All of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements. Specific reference is made to the most recent Form 40-F/Annual Information Form on file with the SEC and Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities for a more detailed discussion of some of the factors underlying forward-looking statements, and the risks that may affect Barrick’s ability to achieve the expectations set forth in the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.
Barrick disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.