Gold and Silver

Barrick brings North Mara tailings storage facility back to permitted design capacity

Barrick brings North Mara tailings storage facility back to permitted design capacity
Mining News Pro - Gold and copper miner Barrick Gold reports that its Tanzania-based North Mara gold mine achieved its commitment to bring the operation’s tailings storage facility (TSF) pond back within its permitted design capacity by the end of 2021.
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Barrick made the commitment to the Tanzanian government when it took over control of the mine in September 2019 – a time when the country’s National Environment Management Council had closed down the TSF, then holding significantly more water than it should.

Barrick spent more than $65-million on the project, increasing the water treatment plant’s capacity 16-fold, from 2.5-million litres a day to 40-million litres a day.

The addition of a brine treatment plant has reduced the volume of salts in the effluent water, enabling it to be stored safely.

Barrick Africa and Middle East COO Willem Jacobs says the achievement of the target is a huge milestone for North Mara and its team, who made a “Herculean effort” to bring the badly neglected TSF into line with international best practice, as well as Barrick’s own tailings management standards.

North Mara will continue to monitor the TSF’s performance and will engage regularly with the relevant authorities to ensure its high standards are maintained, Barrick reports. This includes the analysis of drinking water wells and surface water sources surrounding the mine.

“When we took over the old Acacia assets in Tanzania, we formed a partnership with the government to oversee these mines. The real benefits of this partnership included the swift resumption of operations at North Mara and the revitalisation of the moribund Bulyanhulu, now both valuable members of the Barrick portfolio,” Jacobs says.


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