Barrick Gold Corp, the largest precious metals producer in the world, has identified Indonesia as a potential exploration target while looking for gold and copper deposits throughout South Asia.
The company’s Asian-Pacific exploration teams are looking for deposits across the sprawling mineral belt stretching from Pakistan to Papua New Guinea, Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said.
Barrick has no confirmed exploratory activities underway in Indonesia, but it is “certainly part of our assessment at this point,” Bristow said in an interview.
Barrick Gold Corp. has assets on either end of this belt—Porgera Gold Mine in Papua New Guinea and the Reko Diq Copper-Gold Mine in Pakistan.
Barrick Gold Corp. also produces copper at its Zaldivar and Lumwana mines, and holds other interests, including a nickel-development project located in Africa and a copper-gold project in Pakistan.
In May 2020, Barrick went all in looking for copper mines.
“The gold price is up and the copper price is down,” Mr Bristow told the Financial Times. “So there are bound to be opportunities.”
James Goldstone, the manager of the Keystone Investment Trust at Invesco, which holds Barrick shares, said at the ime he thinks the company should stay focused on gold.
By that point, Barrick had already acquired gold miner Randgold for $6 billion.
“It’s the gold story that will drive positive sentiment, and maintaining that focus on gold is something I’d like to see,” he added.
It operates worldwide, with a portfolio of 27 operational mines and advanced exploration and development projects located around the world, as well as ground-holding positions on some of the most prolific and promising mineral trends.
Barrick Gold Corporation has the only audited balance sheet in the gold industry, and is the largest producer, while having the most reserves, and highest market cap in the gold industry.
Barrick Gold Corporation purchased 23 percent interest in the gold deposits of Alaska’s Valdez Creek area, and later joined Alaska Power & Light and the City of Juneau in exploring more than two dozen sites.
In a friendly 1994 acquisition, Barrick Resources, Inc. became the world’s third-largest gold-mining company when it acquired Canadian-based mining company Lac Minerals, which owned properties throughout North and South America.
Barrick Gold Corporation is currently involved in mining and exploration projects in Papua New Guinea, the United States, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Peru, Chile, Russia, South Africa, Pakistan, Colombia, Argentina, and Tanzania.
Bristow has said it is looking to expand into Asia, although there was controversy in 2020 with the Papua New Guinean government over-extending a permit for a Porgera gold mine, leading Barrick Gold and China’s Zijin Mining Corp. to close down the mine.
In particular, Bristow has expressed an interest in Grasberg Mine in Indonesia’s Papua New Guinea, where Barrick has a share of the Porgera Gold Mine along with China’s Zijin Mining.
Bristow says Barrick Gold Corp has offered to give the Indonesian government 52 percent share of economic benefits from the mine, rebuffing calls from the government to take an even bigger share.