Barminco breaks into Canada with Barrick agreement

Perenti chairman Ian Cochrane and managing director Mark Norwell. Image: Perenti Global.

Barminco is set to provide Barrick with underground mining services at the Hemlo gold mine in the Marathon mining district of Ontario, Canada.

The proposed contract reflects Barrick’s move to phase out Hemlo’s open pit operation and switch to a contract-based underground model.

Barrick aims to upgrade Hemlo to a Tier 2 asset and extend the mine lifespan.

The three-year agreement with Barminco is valued at around $200 million and involves mine development, production and haulage, using equipment provided by Barrick.

Barminco expects to employ more than 300 people at the operation, with works commencing in April.

Managing director of parent company Perenti Group, Mark Norwell said the contract award was another significant step in the group’s international growth strategy to enter attractive and stable mining jurisdictions.

“This is Barminco and Perenti’s first significant contract in North America and builds on our regional growth capabilities, after expanding into Botswana last year with an $800 million contract,” he said.

Perenti underground chief executive Paul Muller added: “We intend to work very closely with Barrick and all key stakeholders, including the incumbent workforce at Hemlo, the Pic River and Pic Mobert First Nations people and the Marathon community more generally to deliver a sustainable improvement in performance, thereby assuring the future of Hemlo.”

The Hemlo mine has produced more than 21 million ounces of gold over 30 years of operation.

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