POWER

Loulo-Gounkoto to serve as solar model for Barrick

Gold major Barrick said the Loulo-Gounkoto complex in western Mali would be home to the group’s first solar power project, paving the way for further introduction of solar across the miner’s operations

Staff reporter
Loulo-Gounkoto will pioneer Barrick’s first solar power project

Loulo-Gounkoto will pioneer Barrick’s first solar power project

Loulo-Gounkoto, which comprises the Loulo and Gounkoto gold mines, has beat its 2019 guidance with production of 714,802 ounces.

At a recent press briefing, Barrick's president and chief executive Mark Bristow said the complex continued to perform to plan and was able to replace depleted reserves through brownfields exploration and resource conversion.

The third underground mine of the complex is set to begin development in the December quarter of this year.

As part of Barrick's clean energy strategy, the complex will also host the mining group's first solar project, which will be finalised by the end of this year. Overall, it will be developed in four phases, with the first scheduled for commissioning by the end of this quarter.

According to Barrick, the project will add 20 megawatts to the complex's grid, reduce the unit cost of its power and reduce carbon emissions by around 40,000 tonnes per year.

It will serve as an example for the introduction of solar power to Barrick's other operations, particularly in North America, Bristow said.

Barrick is also planning to introduce automation and a fibre communications network to the Loulo-Gounkoto mines with the help of digital technology company Newtrax and systems integrator Ramjack Technology Solutions.

Both Loulo and Gounkoto are owned 80% by Barrick and the rest by the state of Mali.

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