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Exploration

Annual Report 2021

Exploration

Disciplined execution aligned with our exploration strategy continues to deliver value close to our operating mines.

This is balanced with expanding our footprint into top priority and often underexplored areas far from existing operations as we explore for the next Tier One discovery.

2022 Regional Exploration Triangle

Barrick’s exploration is managed using the resource triangle – an integrated business tool. Generative work ensures a constant supply of targets to the base of the triangle and a set of stringent filters, at progressive levels within the triangle, ensures the promotion of quality targets and the rejection of inferior ones, with economic deposits ultimately reaching the pinnacle of the triangle.

2022 Regional Exploration Triangle

North America

Nevada Gold Mines landholdings encompass more than two million acres across some of the best endowed gold trends in North America.

Highlights of the company’s exploration program for 2021 include the Ren and North Leeville underground projects delivering maiden additions to the resource base, and they are expected to be growth areas for Carlin into the future with mineralization open in all directions.

Additional opportunities for near to medium-term life of mine extensions have advanced at Fourmile and Goldrush at Cortez. As resource definition drilling continues and underground drilling platforms are established, infill and extension targets will continue to be tested, adding to the life of mine over the coming years. Longer term opportunities also advance in parallel as exploration seeks to discover the next potential high-grade deposit to the north along the prospective structural corridor.

There are also opportunities for new discoveries at Turquoise Ridge (between Turquoise Ridge Underground and the Twin Creeks open pit) where diligent delineation efforts are delivering exciting target concepts in the space between two Tier One deposits. A refined geologic model built on new and legacy data between the deposits has provided a robust framework of litho-stratigraphic and structural context leading to new target concepts within the high potential trend.

Generative efforts have led to the execution of two exploration agreements in North-East Nevada. One is on the Battle Mountain-Eureka trend, expanding the Cortez district westward and the other, just outside of the Nevada Gold Mines area of interest. Both greenfield opportunities are highlighted by widespread alteration and Carlin-style geochemistry hosted in unfavorable upper plate cover rocks, and sparse to no drill holes testing fertile structures at the projection with favorable lower plate carbonate rocks. A combination of geological mapping, sampling, modeling, and framework drilling will be used to advance these early-stage projects toward discovery.

At Hemlo, exploration focus has shifted to assess shallowly plunging shoots east of David Bell, the eastern-most orebody in the camp. The first of two phases of drilling was completed at the end of 2021, confirming the target criteria and motivating a second phase targeting the sparsely tested area adjacent to the deeper production levels. 

Canada is a priority destination for Barrick and we are determined to grow our presence in our home country. Our generative and new business efforts started to manifest during 2020; a multi-disciplinary hunting team was established, and our first major ground position secured. Over 130km strike of prospective structural corridors was secured in 2021 through four exploration option agreements covering ~124,000ha in the underexplored Uchi Belt of northern Ontario. Barrick may earn up to an initial 70% interest by meeting certain expenditure and milestone commitments. The Uchi Belt is host to the world class Red Lake deposit, which in addition to recent new discoveries in unconventional host rocks, has supported our views that this district remains underexplored and highly prospective. 

Latin America and Asia Pacific 

Over the last year, our teams have generated and are testing targets across our existing landholdings while pushing into new frontiers in the Guiana Shield, Peru and Argentina.

In the Dominican Republic, we continue to explore the larger area around our Pueblo Viejo mine. A new structural model led to the recognition of different corridors of prospectivity, notably including the Zambrana corridor, where our work continues to confirm the potential for a significant blind target at Arroyo del Rey. Elsewhere in the Dominican Republic, we have started to assess our permits in two of the most prospective mineral districts.

We have been very active across the El Indio Belt in Chile and Argentina, where we have drilled nine different targets during the past year. Notably, we have been able to identify and extend known mineralization to the east of Lama, discovered gold mineralization at Cerro Pelado at Veladero and identified several porphyry targets.

At Alturas - Del Carmen, as the delineation of the main deposit continues, exploration confirmed the presence of both high-sulphidation and porphyry mineralization at Carmen Norte, providing opportunity to add value to the project.

In the mining-friendly Salta Province of northern Argentina, we have made significant progress on our exploration work at El Quevar, a prospective property which has been underexplored for its gold potential. Three targets have advanced and will be drilled in 2022.

In Peru, our generative work has identified new, early-stage opportunities across the country. Two areas with the potential to deliver a large deposit were identified close to the Pierina mine. 

In Southern Peru, we have secured the ground over the Ichuraya project that is emerging as the next significant target for gold exploration in the district. We also continue our work to get drilling approval for the Cerro Amarillo and Tumaruma projects.

In the Guiana Shield, we have made the leap from generative activities to consolidating a meaningful land package covering 85,000ha via multiple exploration option agreements and Barrick applications. The prospective Makapa project land package is situated along a fertile segment of a major structural corridor which extends the length of the Guiana Shield and has a close association with major gold deposits discovered to date. The area has seen little to no prospecting or exploration due to the presence of post mineral sand cover which is masking the underlying potential. The presence of nearby alluvial workings and elevated gold geochemistry at surface however, hints at the hidden mineral potential. We will be applying our knowledge and skills from our successful exploration in West Africa, which has similar geology, to expedite the exploration and expected discoveries in this belt.

The Japan Gold Alliance was formed in early 2020 and since then, the portfolio has grown by 42% to 29 projects covering 203,000ha. The majority of the portfolio has been geochemically screened, however due to Covid-19 related restrictions, the initial two-year evaluation period has been extended to August 31, 2022 to facilitate completion of the first pass screening phase. Multiple geochemical anomalies have been defined across the portfolio, including over 40 gold anomalies which require greater geological context to rank and rate target areas. Upon completion of the initial evaluation phase this coming August, properties will be ranked and either prioritized for more detailed investigations or removal from the alliance. 

Africa and Middle East 

In Senegal, we expanded our footprint in the highly prospective and underexplored Falémé Domain through the establishment of the Dalema joint venture. Early-stage screening programs are planned to replenish the bottom of our resource triangle. Meanwhile we have continued to generate and test targets on our contiguous Bambadji joint venture. Indications of blind mineralization with complex geometries (Kabewest) and widespread geochemical anomalism in non-traditional rocks (albitites) continue to highlight the prospectivity and potential for new discoveries.

Across the Falémé River into Mali, the Loulo District is a true Tier One terrain and continues to deliver significant upside and discovery potential in addition to replacing 98% of depletion in 2021.

Drilling and modelling work in the Faraba district has raised the potential of linking Faraba North and Main over a 2km strike length of the system highlighting a significant opportunity. The exploration team continues to evaluate early stage near surface opportunities while investigating the potential at depth within key structural corridors.

In Côte d’Ivoire, the Seydou North discovery is showing potential to extend Tongon’s mine life. We also continue to assess multiple additional early stage satellite opportunities that have potential to provide further extensions.

At our Kibali Gold Mines joint venture in the DRC, more ounces were added than mined throughout 2021. Drilling on the Kalimva deposit is investigating the potential for high grades to support an additional underground operation. 

Conceptual but potentially ‘game changing’ geological targets are also being developed in and around the KCD corridor.

Consolidation efforts in Tanzania have continued throughout the year focusing on establishing contiguous exploration footprints in our key areas of interest. Highlights include the granting of 19 new permits distributed across 5 prospective greenstone belts and the announcement of the Tembo transaction to acquire 6 prospecting licenses located along strike of our world class Bulyanhulu gold deposit. Integrated exploration programs are underway to identify Tier One potential on our greenfields projects and brownfields satellite opportunities.

In the Central African Copperbelt, a world class copper destination by any metric, the restart of exploration at Lumwana has had an immediate impact, with the Lubwe target showing early potential to add significantly to the mine life. In parallel, we continue to search for opportunities to grow our portfolio in this prolific terrain.

Further afield we continue to highlight opportunities and establish an exploration presence in the most prospective gold and copper districts in the region. On the African-Nubian shield in Egypt, following a successful bidding process, we were granted four project blocks covering over 2,900km2 and teams are in the field assessing those opportunities. At Jabal Sayid in Saudi Arabia, the team has been successful in replacing depletion again, extending all known lodes and generating new targets along key structures.