- Guinea, Siguiri (85%)
- Ghana, Iduapriem / Obuasi
- DRC, Kibali (45%) (1)
- Tanzania, Geita
- Kibali is operated by Barrick
Our operations in Africa
Africa is home to five of our operations, with one – Kibali in the DRC – managed by Barrick Gold Corporation. These operations contributed 60% or 1.635Moz in 2022 to total annual Group production of 2.742Moz (2021: 57% or 1.4Moz respectively). In Ghana we operate the Iduapriem and Obuasi mines, in Guinea, Siguiri and in Tanzania, Geita.
At the end of 2022, our African region accounted for 20.6Moz (68%) of the total Mineral Reserve and 58.2Moz (44%) of the total Mineral Resource.
The Africa operations employed an average of 19,807 people in 2022 (2021:17,260), of whom 13,070 were contractors (2021:10,781).
- Production rose by 15%
- The Obuasi redevelopment project achieved mid-point of production guidance of 250,000oz
- Iduapriem’s reinvestment drove improvements in grade
- Strong safety performance – Iduapriem, Geita, Obuasi and Siguiri remained fatality-free for the year
- Geita’s improved volumes and grade led to strong performance in the second half of the year
- Mining started at Geita’s Nyamulilima open pit in 2021 and continued in 2022 the open pit is expected to produce more than 1Moz of gold from 2021 to 2027
- Containing costs in a high-inflation environment
- Political uncertainty in Guinea following the coup d’etat in 2021
- Increase in illegal and artisanal and small-scale mining
- Value-added tax lock-ups in Tanzania and the DRC
- Navigating a challenging macro-economic environment and potential political change
- Increased demands for local employment and participation in the value chain
Performance summary 2022
- Production for the Africa region for the year was 15% up at 1.635Moz, achieved at a total cash cost of $962/oz. This compares to 1.419Moz at a total cash cost of $904/oz for 2021
- All-in sustaining cost of $1,227/oz for the year ended 31 December 2022, compared to $1,161/oz for 2021
- Regional capital expenditure of $576m, equivalent to 56% of Group expenditure (2021: $506m; 49%) – is broken down by operation as follows: Kibali $90m (2021: $72m); Iduapriem $146m (2021: $105m); Obuasi $159m (2021: $168m); Siguiri $27m (2021: $39m); Geita $154m (2021: $122m)
- Safety performance improved – there were no occupational fatalities at Company-operated mines and a TRIFR of 0.33 per million hours worked was recorded (2021:0.61)
- Regional community investment totalled $10.19m (2021: $10.5m)
- With Obuasi having received its ISO 45001 (health and safety) certification, all our Africa operations are now certified in terms of ISO 45001, ISO 14001 (environmental management) and the International Cyanide Management Code
Our African production rose 15% year-on-year and total cash costs increased by 6% as we worked to limit the impact of inflation on cost structures. We continued integration of the new Operating Model, the existing Operational Excellence programme, and the FP Programme launched during 2021.
Production for the year rose at Obuasi by 131%, at Iduapriem by 23%, at Siguiri by 8% and at Geita by 7%.
At Geita gold production was up year-on-year mainly due to increased ore volumes processed as well as higher recovered grades. Geita recorded strong production, exceeding 500,000oz for 2022. Higher volumes and grades drove performance in the second half of the year. We are reaching the end of the reinvestment programme at the mine and Geita is now back to operating a production rate of above 500,000oz annually.
In the second half of 2022, Geita was part of the FP programme designed to enhance understanding of the relative potential of each asset and includes developing a plan and implementation schedule to achieve the targeted performance over the next six to 24 months.
At Siguiri production increased in the year mainly due to higher recovered grades, partly offset by lower ore volumes processed. Reduced volumes of ore processed were a result of local community protests related to employment demands which led to mining disruptions and the temporary suspension of mining activities for ten days in July 2022.
Siguiri was the first of the African operations to be involved in the FP programme with the leadership team focusing on increasing the volume of high-grade oxide ore from Block 2. This increase was successful and is reflected in the year-on-year increase in production. We are starting to see the benefits of the FP programme at Siguiri and a second contractor was hired to deliver higher volumes of higher-grade oxide ore from Block 2.
At Iduapriem, gold production increased year-on-year, due, in the main to the higher ore volumes processed, supported by higher grades recovered as the mine accessed ore from Block 5 and Teberebie Cut 2a.
Obuasi’s production increased in the year, primarily due to the resumption of stoping activities following the temporary suspension of underground stoping activities in 2021 due to a sill pillar incident in May of that year. In the first months of 2023, we have been mining more than 4,000tpd of gold bearing rock.
In the DRC, Kibali’s production was lower year-on-year mainly due to lower grades. This was partly offset by a marginal increase in ore volumes processed. In the final quarter of 2022 production improved by 17% compared to the third quarter as grades and volumes increased.
Phase 3 of the Obuasi redevelopment project remains on track ramping up to the mining of 5,000tpd, and eventually to over 6,000tpd.
In 2022 the project achieved the following milestones: hoisting via the KMS rock shaft in November 2022; pumping to drop the water level below 50 level; commissioning of the material handling system from 44 level to surface; completing the new ventilation shaft pilot hole and progressing the KMS shaft down to 44 level.
The ramp-up continues to the planned annual full production run-rate in excess of 400,000oz, which is expected by the end of 2024.
Outlook for 2023
- Safely maintain solid performance across the region
- The FP programme – Siguiri and Geita have completed the programme and are working to their respective FP plans
- Obuasi redevelopment project – Phase 3 is on track and the next key milestones include completion of the new ore pass, followed by rail construction, and establishing a new pump station on 50 level