Could Northern Nevada be the next frontier for gold mining? Barrick Gold’s CEO seems to think so, as the mining giant lays out its vision for the region’s untapped potential.
Barrick Gold, a major player in the mining industry, has reported an increase in its proven and probable gold reserves, anticipating a total of 77 million ounces by the end of 2023. This represents a modest rise from the 76 million ounces reported the previous year, even after accounting for mining depletion.
Barrick’s North American operations have played a significant role in this increase, contributing 31 million ounces to the company’s reserves. The firm’s CEO, Mark Bristow, has expressed confidence in Northern Nevada, stating that the region is “far from being a mature gold district.”
The Carlin site in Nevada is of particular interest, holding 9.7 million ounces divided almost evenly between surface and underground mining. This area has been a historic gold producer and continues to show promise under Barrick’s exploration activities.
Adjacent to Carlin, the Cortez mine boasts another 9 million ounces in reserve. This site spans Lander and Eureka counties and has a split focus on surface and underground mining, demonstrating the versatility and robustness of Barrick’s Nevada operations.
The Turquoise Ridge complex, located in Humboldt County, is yet another contributor to Barrick’s gold reserves, with 8.6 million ounces currently allocated to underground mining operations. This site underscores the rich vein of resources Barrick controls in the region.
Moreover, the Phoenix Mine, near Battle Mountain, adds diversity to Barrick’s portfolio, with 1.7 million ounces designated for surface mining and significant reserves of silver and copper. This site exemplifies the company’s broader strategy of leveraging its assets to maximize output across various minerals.
In line with a broader industry trend towards sustainability, Nevada Gold Mines, Barrick’s joint venture with Newmont, has initiated a solar project to reduce carbon emissions. The first phase, a 100 MW solar plant, was commissioned in late 2023, with an additional 100 MW expected to be operational in the latter half of this year.
Barrick’s growth in gold reserves is not confined to North America. The company’s Africa and Middle East operations have also seen a substantial boost, marking the third year in a row of organic growth beyond annual depletion. Bristow attributes this success to Barrick’s emphasis on asset quality, which has led to the replacement of over 140% of gold reserves depleted since 2019.
As Barrick Gold solidifies its position with increased reserves and renewable initiatives, the company’s prospects reflect not only the latent potential of regions like Northern Nevada but also the adaptability of a mining industry in transition. With a foundation set on qualitative growth and environmental responsibility, Barrick is poised to shape the future of gold mining.
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