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Barrick outlines 'extensive exploration' plans in Africa

Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX) president and CEO Mark Bristow has made further calls for continued government support in Africa as he looks to the future of the company’s assets on the continent.
Barrick outlines 'extensive exploration' plans in Africa Barrick outlines 'extensive exploration' plans in Africa Barrick outlines 'extensive exploration' plans in Africa Barrick outlines 'extensive exploration' plans in Africa Barrick outlines 'extensive exploration' plans in Africa

Barrick’s Tongon gold mine in Côte d’Ivoire

Staff reporter

His comments come as Barrick is about to gain full control of Acacia Mining's (LSE: ACA) African assets after Acacia, hobbled by disputes with the government of Tanzania, agreed to a revised takeover offer on Friday.
Bristow pointed to "extensive exploration work" in Côte d'Ivoire as Barrick looks to extend the Tongon gold mine's life.

The former Randgold Resources mine, which Barrick gained in the pair's merger at the start of this year, has less than three years left based on current reserves, Bristow said.

"We hope to extend that by converting near-mine resources to reserves, exploring the potential of satellite deposits and probing targets along the Badenou trend in the Tongon lease area," he said.

He also referred to exploration underway on all Barrick's permits which covered "the most prospective parts" of Côte d'Ivoire but said success depended in part on the government's continued support in processing applications and facilitating access to permits.

A company presentation stated illegal mining was "still a challenge" on its permits and the phenomenon was becoming more of a social issue, saying all key actors including the government would deal with the issue.

Speaking in Mali yesterday, where the Morila gold mine is headed for closure, Bristow noted the progress made by the Mali management team and government in resolving outstanding tax disputes and said Barrick "expected to conclude the agreed mediation process soon".

It was yet another push by Bristow to underline the importance of government support during his Africa tour, after last week praising the importance of partnerships in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Barrick is hopeful of changes to the recently adjusted mining code.
Barrick shares had touched a one-year high on Friday as it announced the Acacia agreement and the gold price also rose on increased geopolitical concerns.

Its Toronto-listed shares closed at C$22.50, up about 0.2%, capitalising it at $39.4 billion (US$30 billion).