JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Gold and copper mining company Barrick, which is installing solar power in the US where coal-fired electricity generation is also earmarked for elimination, is intent on making plans rather than promises as it cuts carbon emissions.
The New York- and Toronto-listed mining company, headquartered in Canada, is reducing greenhouse-gas emissions at all 16 of its operating sites in 13 countries as part of its climate-change mitigation commitment.
The US’ Nevada Gold Mines is to have a solar power plant with initial capacity of 100 MW and a permit already received to double that to 200 MW, while Veladero in Argentina is completing construction of its cross-border link-up with the Chilean national power grid – a global leader in renewable energy. Nevada’s transition from coal power to a dual energy solution is expected to halve the complex’s carbon pollution.
For the eleventh successive quarter, Barrick has met or beaten consensus, president and CE Mark Bristow said on Thursday when strong third quarter production from its Africa, Middle East and Latin America regions positioned the company to meet the top end of its guidance for the year.
“We’ve really got to that point in two and three quarter years from the merger where we have ticked all the boxes,” Bristow stated in a telephone interview with Mining Weekly.
The operating third-quarter cash flow of $1 050-million and the free cash flow of $481-million does not reflect the $500-million in the Kibali joint venture in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which collectively supports an already strong balance sheet and the funding of Barrick’s capital allocation priorities.
Moreover, the third $250-million tranche of the return of capital distribution totalling $750-million will be paid to shareholders on December 15.
Brownfield exploration, particularly in North America and Africa, is poised to replace all the gold that Barrick is expected to produce this year “plus some”, said Bristow, driven by the continued successes at Goldstrike in Nevada, as well as exploration at Kibali, Loulo-Gounkoto, in Mali, and Barrick’s Tanzanian mines all replacing the gold that they have mined.
Moreover, the drive to expand its portfolio and extend its global footprint has added new exploration projects in five countries.
Attributable gold production in the third quarter was 1.09-million ounces and output for the year-to-date totals 3.23-million ounces. Attributable copper production for the quarter was 100-million pounds and 289-million pounds for the year-to-date. Even though Latin America will be slightly behind, overall the group is in shape.
Barrick has a scientifically based emission reduction roadmap that targets a 30% cut by 2030 against its 2018 baseline and a net-zero outcome by 2050.
“Promise without a plan seems to be the vogue and we’ve got a proper roadmap where we’ve either started or have planned. It’ll take us to 25% reduction by 2030 and that leaves us 5% to work on …….