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Operations

Exploration & Projects

Barrick has a demonstrated track record of creating value through exploration. Since 1990, we have found 129 million ounces of gold at an overall discovery cost of $29 per ounce, or roughly half the average finding cost across the industry.

Approximately 80 percent of our total exploration budget of $185-$225 million in 2018 is allocated to the Americas. Our exploration programs balance high-quality brownfield projects, greenfield exploration, and emerging discoveries that have the potential to become profitable mines.

Our results are driven by the Barrick Exploration System (BXS), a proprietary system for identifying, evaluating, and ranking exploration projects that has been developed by Barrick over two decades. This system significantly increases the chances for success and ensures our exploration dollars are allocated to the projects with the best potential returns at the lowest risk.

 

Projects

Barrick has one of the deepest project pipelines in the gold industry, including brownfield projects near existing operations, greenfield exploration discoveries and some of the largest undeveloped gold deposits in the world, providing significant optionality and leverage to gold prices.

The Company is currently advancing four feasibility-level projects that have the potential to contribute more than one million ounces of annual production to Barrick, with initial contributions beginning in 2021.

Construction of a third shaft at Turquoise Ridge is expected to enable the mine to roughly double annual production.
The Deep South project will utilize infrastructure which has already been approved under current plans to expand mining in the Lower Zone of the Cortez underground mine.
Goldrush is on track to become Barrick’s newest mining operation in the Company’s core district of Nevada.
We expect to complete detailed engineering for the first component of sequenced life of mine extension at Lagunas Norte in 2018 and 2019.
Turquoise Ridge

Nevada, U.S.A.
(75 percent Barrick / 25 percent Newmont)

Double annual production through construction of a third shaft

The construction of a third shaft at Turquoise Ridge, with an estimated initial capital investment of $300-$325 million (100 percent basis) has been approved by the Company. Combined with additional processing capacity, this is expected to enable the mine to roughly double annual production to more than 500,000 ounces per year (100 percent basis), at an average cost of sales1 of around $720 per ounce, and average all-in sustaining costs2 of roughly $630 per ounce.

Permits for the construction of a third shaft are in hand. Surface works and shaft sinking are expected to take place in 2018 and 2019, followed by equipping of the shaft in 2020 and 2021, with initial production from the new shaft expected to begin in 2022, and sustained production expected to begin 2023.

Located in the heart of northern Nevada—one of the world’s premier jurisdictions for gold mining—Turquoise Ridge has 5.9 million ounces3 of proven and probable gold reserves (Barrick’s 75 percent share) at an average grade of 15.56 grams per tonne—the highest reserve grade in the Company’s operating portfolio, and among the highest in the gold industry. The mine added 2.1 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves in 2017 through drilling (Barrick’s 75 percent share), and the deposit remains open in multiple directions, including at depth.

More on the third shaft project (PDF)

Cortez Deep South

Nevada, U.S.A.

Expand mining into the Deep South area below currently permitted levels of the Cortez Hills underground mine, bringing forward production

The Deep South project is expected to contribute approximately 300,000 ounces of annual gold production when fully ramped up between 2024 and 2028, at a cost of sales1 of $650 per ounce, and all-in sustaining costs2 of $580 per ounce. Deep South will utilize infrastructure which has already been approved under current plans to expand mining in the Lower Zone of the Cortez underground mine, including the new Rangefront twin declines and other underground infrastructure already under construction.

Permitting for Deep South was initiated in 2016 with the submission of an amendment to the current Mine Plan of Operations to the Bureau of Land Management, and is expected to take approximately three to four years, including the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. A record of decision is expected in the second half of 2019, followed by two years of construction, with initial production from Deep South in 2022.

More on Deep South (PDF)

Goldrush

Nevada, U.S.A.

Development of an underground mine at Goldrush

Goldrush is on track to become Barrick’s newest mining operation in the Company’s core district of Nevada. Decline construction, detailed engineering, and permitting (Environmental Impact Statement) are expected to take place between 2018 and 2020, with construction and initial production expected between 2021 and 2022, and sustained production expected from 2023. The first phase of the project involves the construction of an exploration twin decline to provide access to the orebody at depth, which will enable further exploration drilling, as well as the conversion of existing resources to reserves. The exploration declines are permitted and can be converted into production declines in the future.

Goldrush currently has proven and probable gold reserves of 1.5 million ounces3 and measured and indicated gold resources of 9.4 million ounces3 , with significant potential to identify additional resources once underground access to drill the deposit is established.

More on Goldrush (PDF)

Lagunas Norte

La Libertad, Peru

Extension of the mine life through sequenced installation of mill, carbon-in-leach, flotation, and autoclave processing facilities

The first component of the project contemplates the construction of a grinding and carbon-in-leach processing circuit that would treat remaining carbonaceous oxide material at Lagunas Norte. Environmental permits for these facilities are already in hand, while construction permits are pending. We expect to complete detailed engineering in 2018 and 2019. If approved, construction and commissioning are anticipated to take place in 2019 and 2020, followed by initial production in 2021.

The second component of the project contemplates the construction of a flotation and autoclave processing circuit that would treat refractory material. If approved, detailed engineering and environmental permitting for these facilities is expected to take place between 2021 and 2023, with construction and commissioning between 2024 and 2026, followed by first production in 2027.

More on the Lagunas Norte Mine Life Extension (PDF)

Greenfield Projects

Donlin Gold

Alaska, U.S.A.
(50 percent Barrick / 50 percent NOVAGOLD)

Donlin Gold, located in Alaska, contains 19.5 million ounces3 of measured and indicated gold resources (Barrick’s 50 percent share). The project represents one of the world’s largest undeveloped gold deposits, at an advanced stage of permitting in a stable jurisdiction, underscoring its unique potential. We continue to work in collaboration with our partners at NOVAGOLD to optimize the project, including the potential for staged development, while reducing upfront capital and mitigating development risk. In support of this process, we completed a drill program of 7,040 meters in 2017 designed to further strengthen our understanding of target mineralized zones. Initial drilling results are encouraging and will form part of an overall geological review. Permitting for the project remains underway. We expect the final Environmental Impact Statement to be published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in early 2018, with a Record of Decision expected in the second half of the year.

Norte Abierto

Atacama Region, Chile
(50 percent Barrick / 50 percent Goldcorp)

Norte Abierto, our new joint venture with Goldcorp in Chile, contains 11.6 million ounces3 of proven and probable gold reserves, and 13.3 million ounces3 of measured and indicated gold resources (Barrick’s 50 percent share). The joint venture is now advancing an optimized project design, including an updated geological model for the Cerro Casale, Caspiche, and Luciano deposits. Work in 2018 will include trade-off and engineering studies on power, water, mining methods, and metallurgy, as well as ongoing stakeholder engagement and environmental baseline monitoring.

Pascua-Lama

San Juan Province, Argentina / Atacama Region, Chile

Pascua-Lama, located on the border between Argentina and Chile, contains 21.3 million ounces3 of measured and indicated gold resources. Over the past year, Barrick has been studying the optimization of the Pascua-Lama project. Work to date on the prefeasibility study for a potential underground project indicates that while the concept may be feasible from a technical standpoint, it does not meet Barrick’s investment criteria. Based on this, and taking into consideration other risk factors, the Company has suspended work on the prefeasibility study, and will focus on adjusting the project closure plan for surface infrastructure on the Chilean side of the project, in line with legal requirements. Barrick will continue to evaluate opportunities to de-risk the project while maintaining Pascua-Lama as an option for development in the future if economics improve, and related risks can be mitigated.

Alturas

Coquimbo Region, Chile

The Alturas project, located in Chile on the El Indio Belt, is a Barrick greenfield discovery with 6.8 million ounces3 of inferred gold resources as of December 31, 2017. In 2017, we completed a scoping-level study for a conventional open pit heap leach operation at Alturas which fell just short of the Company’s hurdle rate. In support of project optimization efforts, we are now undertaking additional drilling focused on increasing grades, adding and better-defining shallow near surface mineralization, and increasing potential mine resource tonnage.

  1. Estimated in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 as required by Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Estimates are as of December 31, 2017, unless otherwise noted. Proven reserves of 398.2 million tonnes grading 1.91 g/t, representing 24.4 million ounces of gold, and probable reserves of 0.9 billion tonnes grading 1.39 g/t, representing 40.0 million ounces of gold. Measured resources of 400.0 million tonnes grading 0.92 g/t, representing 11.8 million ounces of gold, and indicated resources of 1.6 billion tonnes grading 1.54 g/t, representing 76.8 million ounces of gold. Inferred resources of 795.4 million tonnes grading 1.21 g/t, representing 30.8 million ounces of gold. Donlin Gold measured resources of 3.9 million tonnes grading 2.52 g/t (50% basis) representing 0.3 million ounces of gold (50% basis), and indicated resources of 266.8 million tonnes grading 2.24 g/t (50% basis), representing 19.2 million ounces of gold (50% basis). Norte Abierto (formerly known as the Cerro Casale project, comprised of the Cerro Casale, Caspiche and Luciano deposits) proven reserves of 114.9 million tonnes grading 0.65 g/t (50% basis) representing 2.4 million ounces of gold (50% basis), and probable reserves of 484.0 million tonnes grading 0.59 g/t (50% basis), representing 9.2 million ounces of gold (50% basis). Norte Abierto measured resources of 310.1 million tonnes grading 0.57 g/t (50% basis) representing 5.7 million ounces of gold (50% basis, indicated resources of 391.8 million tonnes grading 0.47 g/t (50% basis) representing 6.0 million ounces of gold (50% basis), and inferred resources of 99.1 million tonnes grading 0.29 g/t (50% basis) representing 0.9 million ounces of gold (50% basis). Pascua-Lama measured resources of 42.8 million tonnes grading 1.86 g/t representing 2.6 million ounces of gold, and indicated resources of 391.7 million tonnes grading 1.49 g/t, representing 18.8 million ounces of gold. Alturas inferred resources of 211 million tonnes grading 1.0 g/t, representing 6.8 million ounces of gold. Complete mineral reserve and mineral resource data for all mines and projects referenced on this website, including tonnes, grades, and ounces, can be found on pages 86-91 of Barrick’s Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2017 Report.

  2. Cost of sales applicable to gold per ounce is calculated using cost of sales applicable to gold on an attributable basis (removing the non-controlling interest of 40% Pueblo Viejo and 36.1% Acacia from cost of sales), divided by attributable gold ounces. Cost of sales applicable to copper per pound is calculated using cost of sales applicable to copper including our proportionate share of cost of sales attributable to equity method investments (Zaldívar and Jabal Sayid), divided by consolidated copper pounds (including our proportionate share of copper pounds from our equity method investments).

  3. “Cash costs” per ounce and “All-in sustaining costs” per ounce are non-GAAP financial performance measures. “Cash costs” per ounce starts with cost of sales applicable to gold production, but excludes the impact of depreciation, the non-controlling interest of cost of sales, and includes by-product credits. “All-in sustaining costs” per ounce begin with “Cash costs” per ounce and add further costs which reflect the additional costs of operating a mine, primarily sustaining capital expenditures, general & administrative costs, minesite exploration and evaluation costs, and reclamation cost accretion and amortization. Barrick believes that the use of “cash costs” per ounce and “all-in sustaining costs” per ounce will assist investors, analysts and other stakeholders in understanding the costs associated with producing gold, understanding the economics of gold mining, assessing our operating performance and also our ability to generate free cash flow from current operations and to generate free cash flow on an overall Company basis. “Cash costs” per ounce and “All-in sustaining costs” per ounce are intended to provide additional information only and do not have any standardized meaning under IFRS. Although a standardized definition of all-in sustaining costs was published in 2013 by the World Gold Council (a market development organization for the gold industry comprised of and funded by 23 gold mining companies from around the world, including Barrick), it is not a regulatory organization, and other companies may calculate this measure differently. These measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures prepared in accordance with IFRS. Further details on these non-GAAP measures are provided in the MD&A accompanying Barrick’s financial statements filed from time to time on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on EDGAR at www.sec.gov.