Barrick Gold advances Lumwana copper mine expansion

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© Reuters.

LUSAKA – Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:)(TSX:ABX) announced today that the expansion of its Lumwana mine in Zambia is being accelerated, with production now expected to commence in 2028. This development is part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the nation’s copper industry over the next decade.

The Super Pit expansion project at Lumwana is projected to elevate the mine to one of the leading copper mines globally, with an anticipated annual production of approximately 240,000 tonnes for over 30 years. The estimated cost for the expansion stands at nearly $2 billion, with construction slated to begin later this year.

Since 2019, Barrick has restructured the once underperforming Lumwana mine, which has since become a significant element of the company’s copper portfolio. The mine’s performance in 2023 met its production guidance, bolstered by the reopening of the Malundwe pit and a transition to owner mining.

Barrick’s contributions to the Zambian economy since 2019 total almost $3 billion, including royalties, taxes, and salaries, as well as local procurement of goods and services. In 2023 alone, local procurement amounted to $472 million, representing over 81% of Lumwana’s total spend.

The company has also initiated a Business Accelerator Program aimed at enhancing the capacity of Zambian contractors in its supply chain. This initiative is designed to help local businesses grow and sustain themselves beyond the lifespan of the Lumwana mine.

In line with its partnership philosophy, Barrick is engaging in a REDD+ initiative to benefit host communities through conservation efforts around the mine. The company is working with the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment to facilitate necessary licensing for this initiative.

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