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Barrick hands over Kahama terminal to Tanzanian govt, revives two mines

Barrick president and CE Mark Bristow

Barrick president and CE Mark Bristow

22nd January 2024

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online

     

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International gold miner Barrick Gold Corporation has concluded an eight-month partnership with the Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA) by handing over a new airport terminal built at the closed Buzwagi gold mine’s Kahama airstrip.

The $384 000 terminal, of which Barrick contributed 70% and TAA the balance, has paved the way for a scheduled airline service in and out of Kahama.

The new terminal will serve more than 200 passengers at a time, compared with 25 passengers previously. It will also serve to catalyse economic growth in the region.

The building includes an arrivals and departures terminal, VIP lounge and meeting room, coffee and gift shops, as well as amenities for persons with disabilities.

“The role of a sustainable mining company is not only to create value for stakeholders but to ensure it leaves behind a positive legacy that will continue to serve local communities long after mining is complete,” says Barrick president and CE Mark Bristow.

The Buzwagi mine was officially closed in July 2022, having reached the end of its operational life. It served as an economic powerhouse for Tanzania’s Shinyanga region for almost 15 years.

Barrick in 2021 started with a feasibility study to investigate the viability of creating a special economic zone (SEZ) to replace the mine as the region’s economic driver and job creator.

The rehabilitation of the closed Buzwagi mine is continuing with the ultimate aim of creating the foundation for an SEZ.

Meanwhile, Barrick has also managed to turn two derelict mines in Tanzania into a world-class complex producing gold at a Tier 1 level.

The two mines, North Mara and Bulyanhulu, are part of Twiga Minerals, which is a joint venture between Barrick and the Tanzanian government.

Bristow says the Twiga partnership has not only transformed Tanzania’s gold mining industry, but re-established the country as a prime investment destination for metal and mineral resources.

Barrick revived the mines through conversion drilling, which replenished reserves after depletion. At North Mara, the potential for another underground operation is being explored, while the optimisation of its opencast mine plan is expected to add years to its life.

At Bulyanhulu, Barrick confirms there are near-surface opportunities with the potential to increase production and mining flexibility.

Since Barrick took over the Tanzanian mines in 2019, they have grown into the largest contributor to government’s revenue, through taxes, employment, payments to local suppliers, community projects and distributions to shareholders. Its investment in the economy to date totals more than $3.4-billion.

The mines are also respected as value-adding partners and community members, with Barrick Tanzania having been certified as a top employer by the global Top Employer Institute for its people management programmes.

Both mines have been lauded by the Tanzanian government and civil society organisations for their contributions to the fight against violence against women and children.

Twiga is also advancing a $30-million Future Forward education initiative, which is nearing completion. The programme will significantly improve Tanzania’s educational infrastructure by delivering classrooms, dormitories and washroom facilities for an additional 49 000 pupils.

“Barrick has made an enormous difference for the better on every front in Tanzania. The success of the partnership model we pioneered here represents, I believe, the future of mining, particularly in developing countries. We have also applied this model to the reconstituted Porgera mine, in Papua New Guinea, and the Reko Diq copper/gold project, in Pakistan,” Bristow concludes.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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