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Exploration

Annual Report 2022

Exploration

Exploration is the engine that drives Barrick’s organic growth strategy.

Brownfields work around our existing operations continues to more than replace the ounces of gold and pounds of copper we extract each year, strengthening our already industry-leading gold portfolio and growing our copper holdings. At the same time, robust greenfields programs are hunting down new opportunities in the search for our next Tier One mine.

Creating Value Through Exploration and Optimization

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.

The resource triangle

North America

In Nevada, our growth drilling programs at North Leeville and Ren continue to expand the maiden resources announced last year and discover new mineralized structures, while work at North Turf, Cortez Hills Underground, El Nino, and Turquoise Ridge returned strong results, confirming the potential around these deposits as we work to convert more ounces to reserves and expand their footprints. At Robertson, we declared maiden reserves and increased resources as that deposit is progressed towards production.

We are progressing our copper strategy across North America including at Phoenix in Nevada, where drilling has identified strongly mineralized porphyry beyond the existing model, highlighting further potential to expand resources.

Our exploration programs in Nevada identified multiple discovery opportunities throughout the year culminating in the discovery of high-grade, breccia-hosted mineralization beneath the Dorothy target at Fourmile, confirming significant remaining upside in this well-endowed trend which includes the multi-million ounce Goldrush project. Elsewhere in the Cortez district at the Swift project, an exploration earn-in joint venture for Nevada Gold Mines, drilling has intersected alteration and mineralization in lower-plate carbonates over a wide area, confirming the presence of a significant hydrothermal system.

Around the Turquoise Ridge and Twin Creeks deposits, exciting targets were identified at Fenceline, South Getchell and beneath the Mega Pit. Programs to test these targets will be carried out in 2023.

At Carlin, drilling confirmed open mineralized breccias at the Golden Egg target in Little Boulder Basin while exploration drilling to the west of Goldstrike has significantly expanded the potential along the East Bounding fault system where framework holes confirmed strong alteration, structural complexity and breccia development with widespread low-grade mineralization in a fault corridor that extends for more than seven kilometers of strike length.

We continue to hunt for opportunities across North America and entered an exploration agreement with the opportunity to earn a 100% interest at the Pearl String property, located in the Walker Lane mineral belt of western Nevada. Work to date on the property has included geologic mapping, rock and soil sampling and collection of gravity data to map the underlying basement rock. This data is being compiled and interpreted and will lead to target delineation and framework drill testing in 2023.

In Canada, work at Hemlo focused on improving the geological understanding and models of the deposit, better defining the plunging zones of high-grade mineralization which remain open at depth.

On the South Uchi project, all results from the 2022 program were received during the fourth quarter of 2022. 461 till samples and 1,065 surface rock samples were analyzed during the summer field mapping and overburden drilling campaigns. Our fieldwork continues across multiple projects in North America as we expand our gold and copper focus.

During the year, Barrick entered into an exploration earn-in agreement over the Pic project which is located on the continuation of the Hemlo greenstone sequence, approximately 20 kilometers to the northwest of Hemlo. Barrick may earn up to an 80% interest in the property and completed till geochemical sampling and mapping as well as logging and scanning of historical drill core in 2022.

Latin America and Asia Pacific 

Our exploration work across the Latam and Asia Pacific area is focused on targets at all levels of the resource triangle from growth drilling around the deposits at Veladero and Pueblo Viejo, to regional generative programs in the hunt for opportunities across South America and the Asia Pacific region.

With the reconstitution of the Reko Diq copper-gold 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.

At Pueblo Viejo, drilling at both the Main Gate and Arroyo Del Rey targets intersected alteration and mineralization close to existing infrastructure and further work is required to understand the potential of this mineralization. Additionally, Barrick is progressing early stage exploration on a regional portfolio across the Dominican Republic and initial results from this work are encouraging.

In Argentina, drilling on multiple targets around the Veladero operation progressed through the year. Priority targets are located at Veladero Sur and in the La Ortiga trend where drilling on a historical target, Morro Escondido, confirmed wide zones of mineralization at surface which may be able to be processed at Veladero. The evaluation of this target will continue through 2023. Geological work continues on other high priority projects in the district, which includes our large landholding across the El Indio belt as well as further afield across Argentina.

In Peru, we are progressing three very prospective early-stage projects, while we are looking for opportunities across Latam to rationalize our extensive permit portfolio

Our work on the Makapa project in Guyana failed to identify the potential for a large system leading to our exit from that project, however we remain active in the Guyana Shield and we are progressing our understanding of the region through ongoing generative work.

Our Asia Pacific exploration team is evaluating copper and gold opportunities across the region. In Japan, the Phase One screening program on the Japan Gold/Barrick Alliance projects was concluded, leading to six projects being advanced to the Second Evaluation Phase. Work is in progress currently on the two priority targets, Mizobe in Kyushu and Aibetsu in Hokkaido.

Africa and Middle East 

On the Bambadji joint venture in Senegal, multiple zones of mineralization have been discovered on numerous structures across the project, however the search for a large deposit with the potential to be a standalone operation continues. As a majority of the known economic mineralization in the district occurs at depth, deeper drilling is being planned on the largest and most anomalous structures. Target delineation programs have started on the recently granted Bambadji South permit, where initial surface observations have highlighted strongly altered and sulfidized rocks that correlate with high tenor soil geochemistry anomalies. These targets will be prioritized against other opportunities for testing in 2023. On the Dalema joint venture, early-stage exploration activities commenced with the flying of an airborne geophysical survey and auger drilling in the northern part of the permit which identified two priority targets.

At Loulo-Gounkoto in Mali, exploration work is also targeting mineralization at depth on key under-explored structures, several of which host existing deposits, as well as defining and testing high-impact extensions around our orebodies. An example is Gara West where strong mineralization was intersected beneath the open pit, opening up a significant new search space at Loulo. The Domain Boundary structure at Gounkoto which hosts concealed, high-grade zones of mineralization, will be a key focus for follow up in 2023 including a 3D geophysical survey to more effectively target the blind potential.

The priority at Tongon continues to be progressing satellite targets with the potential to extend the life of mine. This continued successfully through the year with the further definition of the recently discovered Seydou North deposit and the identification of several other zones of mineralization along the Stabilo trend, with the potential to develop into significant satellite orebodies within 15 kilometers of Tongon.

At Kibali in the DRC, exploration programs have identified the potential for large scale extensions to mineralization at multiple deposits along the KZ trend including the KCD orebody itself. This trend continues to exhibit extensive discovery potential evidenced by the Oere target near Kalimva where recent high-grade drill intersections beneath weak near surface mineralization demonstrates the lack of maturity along large parts of the trend where deeper drilling has focused largely on the main deposits.

In Tanzania, early work on our expanding regional portfolio, as well as around the North Mara and Bulyanhulu operations, returned encouraging results. At North Mara, drilling beneath post-mineral cover intersected Gokona-type alteration and mineralization two kilometers away from the Gokona deposit indicating a separate, similar hydrothermal center which is an exciting development. At Bulyanhulu, the exploration agreement on the surrounding permits was concluded with early results indicating potential for mineralization beneath underexplored areas of cover within haulage distance of the plant.

Providing additional ore sources to support the development of the Super Pit at Lumwana is the main focus of our exploration work in Zambia, and results from the Lubwe satellite target continue to confirm its development potential. Beyond Lumwana and as part of our global copper strategy, we continue to evaluate opportunities across the Central African Copperbelt.

In Egypt, the three exploration concessions awarded during the industry bid-round were handed over to Barrick and exploration work has started on all of them. We now control 1,675km2 of ground in the Eastern Desert. Meanwhile the industry negotiations with the government to improve the attractiveness of the mining code is nearing completion.

At Jabal Sayid in Saudi Arabia, brownfields drilling delineated a very high-grade extension to the Lode 1 deposit. Meanwhile one kilometer south of Lode 1 at the Janob target, first pass exploration drilling discovered a new zone of ore grade copper mineralization, highlighting the potential along the multiple prospective and largely untested paleosurfaces on the project. Near the end of the year Barrick, in partnership with Ma’aden, was awarded the sought after Umm Ad Damar project in a competitive bid process after which the portfolio was further expanded with the signing of the Jabal Sayid South exploration agreement, extending our exploration footprint in the highly prospective area around the Jabal Sayid mine.

Annual Report 2022

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