Northern Nevada, in the US, remains highly prospective for new gold discoveries and is “far from being a mature gold district”, says NYSE- and TSX-listed Barrick Gold CEO Mark Bristow
Using the Fourmile development project as an example, Bristow points out that the 100% Barrick-owned project is set to more than triple its current mineral resource of 0.48-million ounces at 10.04 g/t indicated, in addition to 2.7-million ounces at 10.1 g/t inferred.
At the same time, the grade has improved as orebody modelling and evaluation continue with a view to start a prefeasibility study by the end of the year, he says.
A conceptual preliminary economic assessment study, based on the current resource, indicates that Barrick could tap between 300 000 oz/y and 400 000 oz/y from Fourmile.
In the meantime, brownfields exploration has also delivered an exciting pipeline of near-mine growth opportunities for Nevada Gold Mines (NGM), which Barrick owns together with Newmont Gold.
These near-mine opportunities are across NGM’s Carlin, Cortez and Turquoise Ridge properties.
“The complex now boasts a production growth profile that goes well beyond ten years, as the geologists step up the replacement of the ounces depleted by mining,” says Bristow.
He adds that NGM has come a long way since 2019, when Barrick and Newmont pooled their assets in the state to create the world’s largest gold mining complex.
Operational. Highlights of the past year include a record production by the post-merger Cortez and the continuing turnaround of Turquoise Ridge, which Bristow says is beginning to live up to its tier-one status again.
The most significant development, however, is the completion of the Goldrush permitting process at the end of last year. This has enabled Cortez to accelerate the development of a key project, which will already make a significant production contribution this year.
In 2023, Barrick’s 61.5% share of NGM’s production came to 1.87-milion ounces.