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Kibali tops 2019 guidance

Gold major Barrick Gold has achieved a new production record at its Kibali mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, exceeding the 2019 production guidance on a 100%-basis by 9% at 814,027oz.
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The Kibali mine in the DRC exceeded its 2019 production guidance by 9%

Staff Reporter

President and CEO Mark Bristow said Kibali's continued strength showed a modern top-tier gold mine could be "developed and operated successfully in what is one of the world's most remote and infrastructurally under-endowed regions".

Bristow said Kibali was "well on track not only to meet its 10-year production targets but to extend them beyond this horizon".

Barrick recently said a strong December quarter had capped-off an "excellent" first year following its merger with Randgold Resources.

The company said it was looking to tap further operational gains from mine fleet control and automation technologies through investments in truck and drill training simulators, and integration of personnel tracking and ventilation control systems. The simulators will also be used to train operators from Barrick's Tanzania mines, where it has just formed a joint venture with the Tanzania government.

Barrick also expects to commission a Kibali grid stabilisation project by June. This uses new battery technology to offset the need for running diesel generators as a spinning reserve and ensures the operation maximises the use of renewable hydro power.

Installation of three new elution diesel heaters will also help drive better efficiencies and control power costs. "It's worth noting that our clean energy strategy not only achieves cost and efficiency benefits but also once again reduces Kibali's environmental footprint," Bristow said.

Meanwhile, the company says it is adding value at Kibali through the drill bit.

The company recently completed a prefeasibility study on the Kalimva Ikamva deposit, which could help "balance" Kibali's opencast-underground ore ratio and add more flexibility to the mine plan. Down-plunge extension drilling at Gorumbwa has also highlighted future underground potential and ongoing conversion drilling at KCD is delivering reserve replenishment.

Kibali is owned by Barrick (45%) and AngloGold Ashanti (45%), with 10% in the hands of Société Miniére de Kilo-Moto. Barrick, the operator, expects its share of 2019 Kibali gold production to range between 330,000-350,000oz.

Barrick expects to report full-year 2019 and December-quarter results before markets open on February 12.

New York-listed (NYSE: GOLD) Barrick shares were trading at US$18.62 on Friday. The share price has been between $11.65-$20.07 over the past 12 months. The company's market capitalisation is $33.16 billion.