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Barrick Set for Major Growth with Global Asset Expansion in 2024

Strategic Exploration Fuels Barrick’s Production and Value Surge

by Oluwatosin Alabi

In a bold move underscoring its commitment to growth and innovation, Barrick Gold Corporation anticipates a significant surge in both production and value through its expansion efforts across its unmatched gold and burgeoning copper portfolios globally. The details of this strategic vision were laid out in the company’s 2023 Annual Report, which places a strong emphasis on exploration as the cornerstone of value creation.

Mark Bristow, Barrick’s President and CEO, articulated the company’s vision, asserting that the foundation for sustainable growth is firmly anchored in a robust strategy and diverse expertise. Bristow highlighted the pivotal role of discovery and development in driving the company’s value, pointing out Barrick’s aggressive pursuit of new discoveries with Tier One potential and reserve replenishment opportunities. He proudly noted Barrick’s track record in more than compensating for depleted reserves, with the company boosting its gold reserves to 77 million ounces last year, thereby replacing 112% of its annual gold equivalent production. Since 2019, Barrick has organically added 29 million ounces of attributable reserves, translating to 44 million ounces of reserve addition across all Barrick-managed mines on a 100% basis.

Bristow’s confidence in Barrick’s strategy is palpable. He emphasized the company’s proven ability to replenish the gold and copper it mines and the embedded organic growth opportunities within its portfolio. This confidence underpins Barrick’s forecast of extending its 10-year gold and copper production forecast and projecting an increase of over 30% in gold equivalent production by the end of this decade, all without resorting to dilutionary acquisitions.

The financial achievements of the past year further testify to Barrick’s strong performance and strategic foresight. The company recorded a 7% increase in operating cash flow, a 50% growth in free cash flow, and a 12% rise in adjusted net earnings. These impressive financial metrics enabled Barrick to provide a robust dividend to its shareholders in 2023, underscoring its commitment to delivering value.

Sustainability remains at the heart of Barrick’s operations. Bristow articulated the company’s long-standing commitment to real sustainability, which integrates environmental and community responsibilities into the core of its business model. This approach, based on sharing the benefits of mining operations with all stakeholders, is fundamental to Barrick’s social license to operate.

Echoing Bristow’s sentiments, John Thornton, Barrick’s Chairman, referred to the 2019 merger with Randgold as a foundational creed for the company. Thornton asserted that the merger’s philosophy—that the best assets managed by the best people yield the best returns—has been proven by Barrick’s focus on Tier One assets and their outstanding performance.

Looking ahead to 2024, Bristow teased some exciting developments as part of the company’s organic growth strategy. Notably, in Nevada, home to three of Barrick’s Tier One gold mines, the Cortez mine received the long-awaited Record of Decision for Goldrush, enabling accelerated development with an expected production of 130,000 ounces of gold in 2024, scaling up to 400,000 ounces per year by 2028. Furthermore, the company is exploring the Barrick-owned Fourmile project adjacent to Goldrush and conducting a prefeasibility study for additional world-class discoveries.

Barrick’s international ventures also promise significant contributions to its growth trajectory. In the Dominican Republic, the expansion of the flagship Pueblo Viejo project is set to sustain annual production exceeding 800,000 ounces over a life extending beyond 2040. Additionally, Barrick’s strategic investment in expanding its copper portfolio includes the $2 billion Super Pit expansion at Lumwana in Zambia and the copper-gold Reko Diq project in Pakistan, positioning Barrick as a leading global copper producer.

As Barrick advances its growth strategy through exploration, development, and sustainability, its outlook for 2024 and beyond is not just promising but is poised to redefine the mining industry’s standards for success, sustainability, and community partnership.


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