As part of a debt reduction program, Barrick Gold has announced its intention to divest the Porgera Joint Venture. Located in the highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG), the Porgera gold mine is a joint venture operation (Barrick Gold, 95% and PNG government, 5%) that uses both open-pit and underground mining methods.
Barrick said higher recoveries and throughput from improved mill availability have reduced costs and improved production at Porgera. In 2014, it posted all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of $996/oz and produced 493,000 oz. This year it is expected to produce 500,000–550,000 ounces, reflecting increased underground mining rates and mining from higher grade areas of the open pit. AISC are expected to increase to $1,025–$1,125/oz due to increased sustaining capital in line with the mine plan.
Barrick’s share of proven and probable mineral reserves as of December 31, 2014, was 3 million oz of gold. The company is evaluating a number of initiatives with the potential to further reduce costs at Porgera, including cutting energy costs and reducing the number of expatriate staff.