TANZANIA Please take note that the words "nickel" and "Barrick" appear together in the headline. BARRICK GOLD CORP., which is one of the world’s most successful precious metals producers, looks to be getting into the base metal game with FALCONBRIDGE. The two have signed a letter of intent to jointly explore and develop the Kabanga nickel deposit in Tanzania.
Barrick acquired the Kabanga deposit as well as Bulyanhulu from Sutton Resources in 1999. It is located in northwestern Tanzania, about 385 km west of Barrick’s Bulyanhulu gold mine and 100 km northwest of the Tulawaka gold project, which is being developed by Pangea Goldfields (a Barrick subsidiary) and Northern Mining Explorations.
The companies have agreed that Falconbridge can earn a 50% interest in Kabanga by spending US$45 million on exploration, completing a feasibility study in the next three years, and making certain other payments totaling US$13.5 million to Barrick.
The Kabanga nickel sulphide mineralization is associated with ultramafic bodies intruded into metasediments in a geological setting comparable to the Thompson nickel belt in Manitoba. Based on Barrick’s 2003 resource model (which is being updated), Kabanga Main consists of an inferred resource of 26.4 million tonnes grading 2.6% Ni. The Kabanga deposit is open at depth and has significant upside potential.
In addition, the property consists of a large regional land package on the highly prospective Kagera belt. Falconbridge and Barrick have jointly planned a 70,000-metre drilling and geophysical program to fully explore the Kabanga deposit and other targets in the area.
Kabanga rates a mere mention in Barrick’s 2002 annual report. Perhaps more news will be posted on its web site (www.barrick.com) soon.