By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
BARRICK Gold Chief Executive, Mark Bristow, says the clean energy transition is creating an unprecedented demand for metals and minerals.
According to Mr Bristow, the market’s demand for instant gratification while this was happening was driving Mergers and Acquisitions, which he believed was not always conducive to investment in sustainable projects but rather the delivery of short-term returns.
“These growth projects are vital, not only for the resources needed for cleaner energy but for the development of emerging economies,” he said on Tuesday at the Gold Forum Americas conference.
He also projected a 30 percent increase in production by 2030 on the back of the growth options embedded in the firm’s asset portfolio.
He also pointed out that Barrick owned and operates six of the world’s Tier 1 gold mines, and was poised to expand this “best-in-class” asset portfolio through continued reserve replacement and the potential for new world-class discoveries being pursued across many of the world’s most prolific gold belts.
“In 2019 our strategy for the new Barrick included a mandate to grow our copper business, which we recognised as strategically important at that relatively early stage,” Mr Bristow said.
Meanwhile, Mining.Com reported that earlier this year, RBC Dominion Securities analyst, Sam Crittenden, detailed a looming shortfall in copper supply driven by the energy transition, which will require an additional one percent of supply, the equivalent of one large copper mine, coming online every year.
Mr Bristow said once fully ramped up, Reko Diq and Lumwana were expected to become two of the world’s top 20 copper mines by annual production sustained over significant multi-decade mine lives.
“If the forecasts of a copper shortage are even partly correct, this will give us a significant additional upside,” Mr Bristow told reporters at the conference.
“We not only have a sustainable, fully budgeted 10-year base plan, we also have a growth plan that sees us increase production by 30 percent by the end of the decade, which I believe is unique in our industry,” he said.