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Kibali Gold Mine Sets New Standards as One of Africa’s Greenest

Africa’s Largest Gold Mine Boosts Renewable Energy Use, Contributes to Local Economy

by Adenike Adeodun

Kibali Gold Mine, not only Africa’s largest gold mine but now also among its greenest, is making significant strides in sustainable mining. Located in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kibali is primarily powered by three hydropower stations. The addition of a new 16-megawatt solar plant and battery storage, designed to complement hydropower in dry seasons, is set to increase the mine’s renewable energy supply from 81% to 85%. Remarkably, during the first half of the year, Kibali’s electricity demand is expected to be entirely met by renewable sources.

According to a report by Mining Review, Mark Bristow, President and Chief Executive of Barrick, the company overseeing Kibali, highlighted that the mine is not just a leader in green energy but also in automation. “Kibali represents a role model for mining in Africa,” Bristow stated. “Established in the remote north-east of the DRC, Kibali has not only opened a new mining frontier but also significantly contributed to the local economy.”

Barrick’s partnership with the DRC has proven particularly fruitful. To date, the company’s total investment in the country in the form of royalties, taxes, dividends, and local supplier payments totals a staggering $4.7 billion. Moreover, the Kibali community development fund, contributing 0.3% of revenue to local projects, launched 44 new initiatives in 2023 alone.

The mine’s commitment extends beyond economic investment. Kibali’s new Cahier des Charges scheme, with a budget of $8.9 million over five years, has initiated 11 projects, seven of which are nearing completion. Furthering their dedication to environmental stewardship, plans are underway to introduce additional white rhinos into the Garamba National Park.

From an operational standpoint, Kibali not only achieved its production guidance for 2023 but also set a new annual throughput record. The mine is on track to successfully replace reserves mined during the year, showcasing its commitment to sustainable mining practices.

Bristow reaffirms Barrick’s commitment to partnering with host countries and local communities. “Kibali stands as a testament to what can be achieved through collaboration. We are ready to work with the DRC government to further expand our investments and development projects,” he added.

Kibali Gold Mine’s transition towards renewable energy and its significant contributions to local development exemplify the potential for sustainable practices in the mining industry. This initiative sets a new benchmark for mining operations in Africa, balancing economic growth with environmental responsibility and community development.

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