Barrick’s two gold mines in Tanzania, North Mara and Bulyanhulu, boosted their combined output to 547,0001 ounces in 2022, achieving another step towards their potential Tier One2 status in the group’s asset portfolio as a combined complex. At the same time, exploration is continuing to deliver opportunities to grow the mineral reserves net of depletion at both mines.
North Mara’s transition to owner-mining is successfully ramping up its ongoing open pit expansion with improved efficiencies and costs, while technological advances in the underground operation are increasing productivity. The restart of mining at the Gena pit is on track. At Bulyanhulu the main focus is on ramping up the development of its declines to access the new Deep West mineral reserves and defining further exploration potential in Reef 2.
Briefing media and other stakeholders here today, Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow said since the company took over control of the mines in 2019 it had completely transformed what were effectively dead or dying operations into valuable assets in terms of their current performance, their future prospects and their social licence.
“Today the mines are recognized by both the government and communities as socially responsible businesses creating and sharing enormous benefits for all their stakeholders, and as a key partner in Tanzania’s socio-economic development,” he said.
“Last year North Mara was officially recognized as Tanzania’s largest taxpayer and Bulyanhulu was awarded the Best Compliant Employer prize by the National Social Security Fund. North Mara and Bulyanhulu also received the first and second runner-up recognition awards, respectively, for the Export of Minerals and the generation of foreign currency. They’ve both come a very long way and we look forward to continuing that journey through our Twiga partnership with the government.”
Since the take-over in 2019, Barrick has pumped $2.4 billion into the Tanzanian economy. Last year it paid $303 million in taxes, royalties, levies, dividends and shareholder loan repayments and $476 million to local suppliers.
As the mines have grown they have continued to prioritize local employment. Their workforce is already 96% Tanzanian, with 45% of new hires drawn from the surrounding communities. Through their community development committees, the mines have invested more than $10 million in projects to improve healthcare, education, access to potable water and the road infrastructure.