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Boroo plans new life for Barrick Gold's Lagunas Norte

Barrick Gold has completed the sale of its mothballed Lagunas Norte mine in Peru, with new owner Boroo saying the acquisition positioned it to realise its goal of becoming a global mid-tier precious metal producer within three years.
Boroo plans new life for Barrick Gold's Lagunas Norte Boroo plans new life for Barrick Gold's Lagunas Norte Boroo plans new life for Barrick Gold's Lagunas Norte Boroo plans new life for Barrick Gold's Lagunas Norte Boroo plans new life for Barrick Gold's Lagunas Norte

Boroo’s namesake gold mine in Mongolia

Ngaire McDiarmid

Reporter

The US$81 million sale agreement was announced in February.

Boroo, a private Singapore company, said today it intended to "commit significant energy and resources to developing operations to achieve growth objectives at Lagunas Norte".

It was also looking into a possible stock exchange listing in the US or Canada.

"This is our second successful acquisition of an asset placed in care and maintenance from global senior and mid-tier precious metal producers since Boroo was established three years ago," CEO Dulguun Erdenebaatar said.

The company, previously OZD Asia, had acquired Centerra Gold's Mongolia business unit in 2018.

Although Lagunas Norte was put on care and maintenance in 2019, its gold recovery plant has continued to produce gold from leach pad ore and Boroo expected to recover more than 100,000 ounces of gold inventory by 2023.

Boroo said the next phase for the mine would be to recover gold from the advanced Carbonaceous Material Oxides Project (CMOP) and sulphide ore through the Refractory Material Project.

"With significant upside potential in our portfolio, Boroo's priorities are to efficiently unlock value from the advanced-stage CMOP development project, extend the life of the existing heap leach operation, pursue various optimisation initiatives and advance near-mine exploration projects," Erdenebaatar said.

The mine had produced 245,000 ounces of gold in 2018 but was placed on care and maintenance the following year so Barrick could assess the sulphide resource potential.

In February, Barrick president and CEO Mark Bristow said the company remained committed to Latin America but would focus on its tier one assets, which had the reserve potential to deliver a minimum 10-year life, annual production of at least 500,000oz ounces of gold and total cash costs per ounce in the lower half of the industry cost curve.

"The Latin American region remains an important destination for Barrick, and the company will keep a team in Peru to continue to develop its portfolio of exploration assets and to pursue opportunities to find and operate world-class gold and or copper mines in that country," Barrick said at the time.

Barrick had closed its Pierina mine in Peru about five years ago.

Its operations in the region are the Zaldivar copper mine, a joint venture with Antofagasta in Chile, and two JV gold mines, Veladero with Shandong Gold in Argentina and Pueblo Viejo with Newmont in the Dominican Republic.