The largest gold mining company in the world, Barrick Gold Corporation, has once again indicated its intention to pursue opportunities in the Guyana Shield, through investment in early-stage exploration. Reuters reported that Rob Krcmarov, Executive Vice President of Exploration for Barrick, made this announcement at an investor presentation in London, yesterday, via webcast.
Investment is likely to be capitalized on, through Reunion Gold Corporation; a Canadian exploration and developing company in which Barrick has a 15% stake.
Reunion Gold operates in the Guiana Shield, which is a geological formation that underlies Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana, most of Venezuela, as well as parts of Colombia, and Brazil. The shield, on the northern edge of the Amazonian Craton of South America, is well endowed with substantial gold deposits. No less than 15 gold mines and deposits hosting an estimated 110M oz of gold have been recognized from Venezuela to French Guiana.
Reunion’s current portfolio includes three gold projects in French Guiana: Dorlin, Boulanger and Haute Mana, and three gold projects in Guyana: Waiamu, Arawini and Aremu.
The Corporation’s Head of Projects and Evaluation, according to Reuters, said that Barrick will require a 15 percent rate of return on investments, based on a $1000 gold price, to approve projects with more than 5M oz of gold. Additionally, for projects with more than 3M oz of gold, it will need a 20 percent rate of return on investments.
Barrick had withdrawn its involvement in an exploration project in Guyana, earlier this year. The company had pursued a joint venture with junior mining company, Alicanto Minerals. Barrack had spent US$7.1M on exploration for the project; just shy of the US$8M it was required to spend to earn 65% under a March 2016 earn-in agreement. Alicanto had said that Barrick’s work identified multiple targets, including a number of higher grade prospects which at outside Barrick’s size criteria.
Barrick continues to grow in wealth, with its latest significant move being the absorption of Randgold Resources Ltd., another gold mining company focused on work in Africa.
Barrick is expected to close the all-stock deal on January 1, 2019, valuing the Africa-focused miner at $6.1B. The merger erases all doubt of Barrick’s status as the largest gold miner in the world, with a market value over $19B.
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