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Annual Report 2023


The foundation of Barrick’s exploration strategy is a deep organizational understanding that discovery through exploration is a long-term investment and the main value driver for the business – not a process. Barrick’s exploration strategy has multiple elements that all need to be in balance to deliver on its business plan for growth and long-term sustainability.

First, Barrick seeks to deliver projects of a short- to medium-term nature that will drive improvements in mine plans. Second, it seeks to make new discoveries that have the potential to add to Barrick's Tier One Gold Asset portfolio. Third, Barrick works to optimize the value of its major undeveloped projects and finally, it seeks to identify emerging opportunities early in their value chain and secure them by an earn-in or outright acquisition, where appropriate.

During 2023, exploration work expanded in all regions with the addition of new projects, while ongoing work continues to return encouraging results at all stages of the target pipeline.

Creating Value Through Exploration and Optimization

During 2023, exploration work expanded in all regions with the addition of new projects, while ongoing
work continues to return encouraging results at all stages of the target pipeline.

In Canada, a solid portfolio of projects is being built with encouraging early results. In the United States, Barrick secured several exciting prospects outside the Carlin district, and the Nevada exploration team continues to identify new opportunities.

In Latin America, a portfolio of exciting targets in Peru were progressed and are permitted for drilling in 2024. Barrick entered Ecuador, completing initial mapping and geochemical programs while around Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic and Veladero in Argentina, exploration continues to return strong drill results, identifying new satellite potential at both operations.

In the Africa and Middle East region, the team confirmed high- grade mineralization on key structures around deposits in Mali, DRC, and Côte d’Ivoire and in Tanzania Barrick expanded its ground holding significantly and identified multiple alteration systems beneath cover around North Mara. In Saudi Arabia, early drilling at the Umm Ad Damar project has identified VMS-style mineralization and alteration at all targets. Barrick also continues to evaluate opportunities across the Asia- Pacific region as it progresses targets around Reko Diq in Pakistan and across Japan. Through 2024, Barrick plans to maintain a healthy balance in its exploration focus between early-stage and advanced exploration projects to deliver on Barrick’s growth and long-term business plan.

North America

Exploration work in North America continues to grow in Canada and outside Nevada on early-stage projects, while maintaining a strong focus on discovering the next Carlin deposit in Nevada.

On the Carlin trend, exploration drilling continues to extend high-grade mineralization on fertile structures around the Leeville, Horsham, Ren, Miramar, Rita K and Fallon deposits, confirming the long-term potential to add resources around the Little Bounder Basin. Surface geochemistry results this year, to the north of the area along the important Eastern Bounding Fault, identified multiple, structurally-controlled anomalies providing targets for testing in future seasons. Geochemical drilling programs are in progress in multiple untested areas within and around the trend.

At Cortez, strong results from ongoing drilling at Fourmile confirmed its potential as the next Tier One deposit in the district and a dedicated study team is now progressing the target towards a prefeasibility study. Drilling continued to extend mineralization around the Robertson deposit and drilling at the Swift target confirmed the presence of a large Carlin hydrothermal system which is open and requires further drilling to understand its potential.

At Turquoise Ridge, drilling extended high-grade mineralization in multiple directions around the Turquoise Ridge deposit while exploration work focused on the untested feeder potential beneath the Mega Pit, intersecting alteration and mineralization which is interpreted to be an indicator of proximity to significant mineralization.

Our copper exploration strategy in North America progressed through the year, leading to the securing of multiple early- stage opportunities outside Nevada which will be progressed through 2024.

In Canada, till geochemistry results from a belt-scale opportunity in Sturgeon Lake identified multiple large, anomalies to be further evaluated in 2024. Early work at the Patris project in the Southern Abitibi district confirmed gold mineralization around intrusive rocks along a major structural corridor which we will evaluate further in 2024 through drilling.

Latin America and Asia Pacific 

This region has a strong early stage and new frontier exploration focus, balanced with Barrick’s ongoing brownfields work to support the operations at Veladero and Pueblo Viejo and identify new ore sources to replace depleted resources.

At Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic, exploration work on multiple satellite targets around the deposit identified two new areas of interest close to the mine: at the Pueblo Grande target, drilling has confirmed the existence of Pueblo Viejo-type lithologies and alteration in a previously untested area, while at Zambrana, drilling has intersected mineralized breccias and shallow oxide mineralization which is interpreted to be a separate system to Pueblo Viejo. As drilling continues on these and other targets around the mine the exploration team is progressing additional opportunities across the Dominican Republic.

As part of Barrick’s global expansion into world class districts, the company entered Ecuador during 2023, conducting early regional reconnaissance prospecting work on various districts in the southern Jurassic Belt, which hosts the Mirador and Fruta del Norte deposits. Early results are positive, confirming both the epithermal and/or porphyry potential of the districts.

In Peru, the team is exploring across four regions, with the most advanced target, Pataquena, in the south of the country, permitted for drilling in 2024. Libelula, close to Pierina, will also be drill tested, subject to permitting, in 2024. Additionally, Barrick extended its ground holding in the centre of the country where there is significant opportunity.

In Argentina, exploration is focused on the brownfields targets around Veladero. As the metallurgical work on the Morro Escondido inventory continues, geophysical surveys and drilling programs are evaluating other targets in the Ortiga and Veladero trends.

Generative teams are active across the region and advancing targeting concepts in Chile as well as continuing research and improving our understanding of the prospectivity in multiple priority areas in the Andes and the Guiana Shield.

Across to the Asia Pacific region, the exploration team continues to evaluate the most prospective regions for opportunities.  At the Reko Diq Copper Porphyry project in Pakistan, the exploration team is focused on identifying untested upside around the known porphyries as well as upgrading the geological understanding of the deposits as part of the feasibility study update. In Japan, Barrick is progressing four priority projects with drilling at the Mizobe target in Kyushu intersecting wide intervals of breccia hosted mineralization.

Africa and Middle East 

With seven operations, the AME region is Barrick’s busiest in terms of brownfields exploration. However, there is also extensive greenfields exploration work in progress.

On the Bambadji joint venture in Senegal, the team interpreted a highly anomalous, 26km long corridor of increased strain and alteration which contains significant mineralization along its length. Work in the past year has focused on a set of deeper framework holes which have tested the corridor around its most prospective segments. Results from this work have been encouraging, identifying continuity of mineralization in very wide-spaced drilling and significantly upgrading Barrick’s interpretation and the corridor remains the principal target on the project. Also in Senegal, the Dalema and Bambadji South projects saw significant work through shallow geochemical drilling and geophysical surveys, which identified multiple anomalous areas for follow up work.

At Loulo-Gounkoto in Mali, the team has started testing the extensions to open, high-grade mineralization beneath the Yalea, Gounkoto and Baboto deposits. At Baboto there is significant untested space at relatively shallow depths beneath historical drilling and early results have confirmed high grade mineralization, while at Yalea, drilling is testing for a repetition of the high-grade ‘purple-patch’ mineralization. Exploration also continues along significant structures away from the deposits such as the domain boundary, where results this year identified additional zones of mineralization.

In Côte d’Ivoire, the Boundiali permit was reissued with a significant conversion drilling program being completed at the Fonondara target as part of the program to evaluate its potential as a Tongon satellite ore source. On the Tongon permit the aim is to identify another large mineralized Skarn system, like Tongon, and shallow drilling along prospective structures around Tongon and onto the new Korokaha North permit is in progress.

At Kibali in the DRC, strong drilling results through the year on multiple targets continue to confirm the prospectivity of the principal structures around the KCD deposit. High-grade mineralization was intersected beneath the Oere target, confirming its open nature and highlighting the deep potential along an untested, multi-kilometre part of that structure. At Agbarabo and Rhino, drilling confirmed the down-plunge continuity of multiple mineralized shoots with the potential to be mined from underground, while drilling at KCD identified a new plunging mineralized lode on the sparsely tested western side of the deposit. Drilling at the Zambula target in the south of the Kibali project also confirmed open mineralization near surface.

In Tanzania, Barrick continued to consolidate ground in the most prospective parts of the country, including establishing a new large scale exploration footprint on a highly endowed and under explored belt away from our current operations. To rapidly progress this portfolio we have carried out geochemical and geophysical surveys this year, while the teams have also identified multiple near mine targets at both Bulyanhulu and North Mara. Along the Gokona Corridor at North Mara, exploration beneath 100m of cover has confirmed multiple areas with elevated Gokona-type geochemistry and alteration which need to be further drill-tested. Around Bulyanhulu, the team confirmed the continuity of mineralization along the main structures beyond the deposit and further work is required to better define the opportunity.

Generative work continues across the Copper Belt of DRC and Zambia where we are evaluating multiple opportunities. At Lumwana, our team continues to support the ongoing Superpit feasibility study through the successful extension of mineralized horizons.

In the Arabian Nubian shield, Barrick is progressing projects with exciting results in Saudi Arabia and in Egypt. Initial results from the Hamash Sukari project were received and the plan is to complete an airborne EM survey in 2024. Barrick’s partnership with Ma’aden was extended beyond Jabal Sayid this year to include the Jabal Sayid South and Umm ad Damaar projects. At Umm ad Damar, following mapping and geophysical surveys, results from a first phase of drilling across four different targets have been highly encouraging with VMS alteration and mineralization intersected at all targets.