Barrick Gold announced that its 80%-owned Loulo-Gounkoto complex remains on track to meet the upper end of its 2020 guidance, set at 540,000 oz. of gold, despite having faced multiple challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic and a military coup in Mali.
According to Barrick’s president and chief executive Mark Bristow, this performance can be attributed to the company’s long-established relationships with partners in Mali.
“We’ve always had great confidence in Mali and its people, hence our continuing commitment to the country. It’s gratifying to note that Mali is dealing with its political challenges and has already returned to a civilian-led transitional government. We look forward to being part of its future,” Bristow said in a media statement.
The executive also pointed out that over the past 24 years, Barrick and its legacy company, Randgold Resources, have contributed US$7.4 billion to the Malian economy in the form of taxes, royalties, salaries and payments to local suppliers.
Loulo-Gounkoto, the giant’s most recent venture in the country, has spent US$275 million with local contractors and suppliers.
The complex has also paid dividends totalling US$160 million in the year to date with Loulo paying a maiden dividend in the quarter on the back of the mine’s convention amendment.
Barrick’s CEO also highlighted the fact that the development of a third underground mine at Gounkoto is on track to deliver its first ore tonnes in the second quarter of 2021.
Comprising two distinct mining permits, the Loulo-Gounkoto complex is in western Mali, bordering Senegal.
Last year, the operation exceeded guidance, producing 714,802 oz. of gold.
This story originally appeared on www.Mining.com.