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Barrick eyes intensified gold search

by By FRANK ASAELIThe National

BARRICK Gold, owner-operator of the Porgera mine and the world�s largest gold mining company, plans to step up exploration for high-grade gold veins and copper-porphyry prospects in Papua New Guinea.

This was disclosed yesterday after the company announced the purchase of the Kainantu gold mine from Highlands Pacific, simultaneously taking over 2,900sqkm of highly prospective acreage near Kainantu and Wau.

Barrick�s executive vice president for corporate development and exploration Alex Davidson said the Kainantu acquisition and the farm-in deal earlier this week with Triple Plate Junction has given his company access to 5,300sqkm of contiguous ground for exploration.

This was a �core region� that included Barrick�s world class Porgera mine.

�Earlier this year, we increased our interest in the Porgera mine. The acquisition of a very large and prospective exploration package and the Kainantu gold mine was a further reflection of the long term, multi million ounce potential we see in Papua New Guinea,� he said.

Mr Davidson said the acquisition �re-affirms our commitment to Papua New Guinea�.

Barrick will also take a fresh look at the Kainantu mine, which had suffered severe losses since production began almost two years ago as a result of mine dilution problems.

Barrick�s US$5 million (K13 million) farm-in agreement with Triple Plate Junction over the adjoining Wamun tenement gives the big Canadian company access to over 5,300sqkm of contiguous ground.

Barrick (PNG) Ltd said it had entered into a joint venture and farm-in agreement with Triple Plate Junction plc over exploration Licence 1369.

Barrick (PNG) said the company�s vision was to be the world�s best gold company by finding, acquiring, and developing and producing quality reserves in a safe, profitable and socially responsible manner.

As part of the agreement with Highlands Pacific, Barrick expected to retain all employees at the Kainantu mine and to honour Highlands Pacific�s commitments to stakeholders.


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