Barrick Gold Corp. has uncovered a new discovery hole near its Fourmile project in Northern Nevada, a sign of the potential for more high-value discoveries in the region, the company’s chief executive said.
The hole — discovered near Winnemucca — points to the delivery of at least one more “Tier 1” gold mine through the combination of Fourmile with the nearby Goldrush development project, according to a Tuesday news release. Barrick spokeswoman Lois Wark said Tier 1 mines have a stated life in excess of 10 years with annual production of at least 500,000 ounces of gold.
Barrick isn’t sure where the mineralized rock ends, and expects “significant resource growth” from continuing the step-out drilling program, in which holes are drilled to expand the mineralization zone.
Mark Bristow, the company’s president and chief executive, said diligent exploration and detailed geological modeling had led to effective targeting at Fourmile.
“Discovery is fundamental to value creation and the latest results from Fourmile confirm the potential for further high-value discoveries in the greater Cortez – Carlin region which has been a prolific source of gold discovery and production for 150 years, and still holds an untapped wealth of geological endowment,” Bristow said in the statement.
In March, Barrick agreed to merge its assets with Newmont Mining Corp. to create the world’s largest precious metal mining operation. Fourmile was not included in the merger, but the statement from Barrick said it has the right to bring the project into the joint venture “for full market value provided certain agreed investment criteria are met.”
Bristow added that the company is on track to achieve its targets for 2019.
“Production is trending towards the top end of the 5.1 to 5.6 million-ounce guidance range while costs are likely to be at the lower end of the cost forecasts,” he said in the statement. “The market is starting to recognize and reward this performance, and it’s worth noting that the Barrick share price has increased by 90 percent since the Randgold deal announcement a year ago, outstripping the GDX index and the spot gold price by a wide margin.”
Details of Barrick’s five-year plan would be shared with the market when it publishes its third-quarter results in November, Bristow said.
“Our aim is to make the Barrick brand synonymous with value creation. That value will be generated by its existing Top Tier operational base of long-life mines, located within world-class geological provinces and run by management teams that can unlock and bring to account opportunities where others have failed,” he said.
Barrick Gold’s shares closed down 2.11 percent to $17.64 on Wednesday, down $0.38.