Barrick Gold pours first gold at Buzwagi
2009-05-04 09:53 ET - News Release
Mr. Aaron Regent reports
BARRICK POURS FIRST GOLD AT BUZWAGI
Barrick Gold Corp. has completed the first gold pour at its Buzwagi mine in Tanzania (all figures in United States dollars). In 2009, Buzwagi is expected to produce approximately 200,000 ounces of gold at total cash costs of $320 to $335 per ounce. In production, the mine will be one of the country's largest mining operations. Buzwagi is the sixth Barrick project brought into production on time in the last six years.
"For any mining company, a new mine entering production is always an exciting time -- particularly for the development team," said president and chief executive officer Aaron Regent. "The team constructed Buzwagi on time and in line with its budget of about $400-million. They also successfully managed to do this with an outstanding safety record."
Buzwagi is the first of Barrick's new generation of mines to enter production. Cortez Hills, in Nevada, is expected to come into production in the first quarter of 2010 (1); and Pueblo Viejo, in the Dominican Republic, is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2011. Combined, the three projects represent almost two million ounces of production (2) at lower cash costs than the current portfolio average. The company's next project on the horizon is the Pascua-Lama project, which lies on the Chile/Argentina border.
Proven and probable gold reserves at Buzwagi are 3.3 million ounces (3), as at year-end 2008.
Barrick's vision is to be the world's best gold company by finding, acquiring, developing and producing quality reserves, in a safe, profitable and socially responsible manner.
(1) This assumes the satisfactory resolution of pending litigation regarding the Cortez Hills project. In the fourth quarter of 2008, a number of opponents of the Cortez Hills expansion filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the district of Nevada, seeking to overturn the Bureau of Land Management's approval of the Cortez Hills project, on environmental and religious grounds. The plaintiffs unsuccessfully sought to enjoin construction of the project, pending consideration of their claims. The district court's denial of the requested injunction is currently being appealed. First production for Cortez Hills of approximately one million ounces includes the existing Cortez operation, and is based on average production for the first full five years.
(2) Approximately two million ounces of production is the cumulative average for the five years, once all at full capacity; 2012 is the first year that all three projects are in full production.
(3) Calculated in accordance with National Instrument 43-101, as required by Canadian securities regulatory authorities. For United States reporting purposes, Industry Guide 7 (under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934), as interpreted by the staff of the SEC (Securities and Exchage Commission), applies different standards in order to classify mineralization as a reserve. Accordingly, for U.S. reporting purposes, Cerro Casale is classified as mineralized material, and approximately 600,000 ounces of reserves for Pueblo Viejo (Barrick's 60-per-cent interest) are classified as mineralized material. For a breakdown of reserves and resources by category, and additional information relating to reserves and resources, see page 110 of Barrick's 2008 year-end results.