Barrick Gold plans exploration in Jamaica

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Barrick Gold Corp.’s [TSX-ABX; NYSE-GOLD] Barrick Gold (International Holdings) Ltd. has entered into an exploration earn-in agreement with Geophysx Jamaica Ltd. with respect to certain properties located in Jamaica.

The agreement initially provides Barrick with access to approximately 4,000 km2 of consolidated land positions throughout the country, with a favourable geological setting comparable with the Dominican Republic, where Barrick operates the Pueblo Viejo mine.

Barrick will have the right to work with Geophysx to earn up to an 80% joint venture interest in designated properties upon fulfilment of certain spending obligations and study-deliverable milestones. Barrick will act as the operator, in partnership with Geophysx, leveraging Geophysx’s existing personnel, knowledge, facilities and equipment.

A private mineral exploration company, Geophysx is the dominant mineral exploration force and licence holder in the nation of Jamaica. The company is committed to modern and responsible exploration. Over the past six years, it has been engaged in an intensive nationwide greenfield exploration program. Geophysx has conducted high-quality, early-stage exploration work, including geochemical sampling, geological mapping and industry-leading airborne geophysical surveys. These data sets provide the two companies with an opportunity to move rapidly to target definition and accelerate the potential discovery of new resources.

Barrick president and CEO Mark Bristow commented: “We are pleased to partner with Geophysx, who have assembled a large, consolidated portfolio of work and holdings in Jamaica, a significantly underexplored and prospective region. We look forward to advancing our partnership by combining and leveraging Geophysx’s capabilities and presence on the island, along with the remarkable data set they have created, with Barrick’s technical and financial resources to deliver new world-class discoveries. We also look forward to partnering with the government of Jamaica to pursue projects for the benefit of the country and local communities.”

Robert “Bobby” Stewart, founder and managing director of Geophysx, commented: “We are excited to be partnering with Barrick, a company that not only shares our beliefs in environmentally responsible and sustainable exploration and mining, but is also a sector-leading gold and copper producer with a portfolio which spans the world’s most prolific gold and copper districts.

“This is an amazing opportunity for Jamaica to grow a new economic base. Barrick’s experience in exploring, developing and operating projects, combined with Geophyx’s in-country knowledge and committed team, makes this an ideal partnership to advance the industry in Jamaica. We admire Barrick’s commitment to partnering with host countries and communities to transform their natural resources into tangible benefits and mutual prosperity.”

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