Seventeen years after it went into production, Barrick’s Loulo-Gounkoto mining complex in Mali continues to demonstrate its value as a key socio-economic partner to the country.
In 2022 it maintained its historically consistent performance by meeting its production guidance and solidified its long-term outlook and is expected to replace its mined ounces for the fourth successive year.
The initial development of a third underground mine at Gounkoto was commissioned and is on track to start ore production from stopping in the second quarter of this year. Key geological structures within the Loulo district have indicated the potential for further discoveries.
Speaking to media, Barrick President and Chief Executive, Mark Bristow said last year the complex contributed $260 million directly to the Malian economy in the form of dividends, royalties and taxes. Indirect contributions, including payments of salaries and to suppliers, totalled $570 million.
“We continue to promote and develop our local partnerships, creating and contracting an all-Malian joint venture to mine the new Gara West open pit and engaging a Malian contractor to work with an international mining company on the pushback of the new Yalea pit.
“It’s worth noting that our strong partnership network has been a significant factor in enabling Loulo-Gounkoto to maintain an exemplary performance in the face of the many challenges recently experienced by Mali,” Bristow said.
“Host community investment is making a significant difference in the surrounding areas through the ongoing development of infrastructure, agriculture, education and healthcare. Malian nationals account for 100 percent of the complex’s management team and 96 percent of its workforce. Our drive to diversify our employment profile is delivering results and three of Loulo-Gounkoto’s female mining engineers have been enrolled in the management development programme at Cape Town University’s Graduate School of Business.”
In line with Barrick’s global green energy strategy, Loulo-Gounkoto is expanding its solar power plant by 40MW, targeting an annual CO2 saving of more than 62kt-e. Since its commissioning in August 2020, the plant has cut emissions by 57kt.