Barrick’s Unlock the Value Program Draws 130 Scientific Proposals
Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: ABX)(TSX: ABX) announced today that, with the April 30, 2008 deadline for submissions rapidly approaching for its innovative Unlock the Value challenge, participation in the program has exceeded expectations.
“We have already received 130 proposals, far beyond our expectations,” said Dr. Peter Kondos, Barrick’s Senior Manager of Research and Development. “With one month left, we hope to receive additional submissions before the deadline.”
While pleased with the response, he cautioned those who think there may be an easy solution. “This is a difficult scientific problem which has confounded some of the world’s top metallurgists and scientists so far. There’s no guarantee it will be solved, but we are hopeful that one or more of these submissions may hold the key to unlock the value.”
After April 30, 2008, an expert panel made up of outside and Barrick representatives will review all the proposals submitted prior to the deadline, and select those that will go forward to the more detailed proposal submission in phase 2 of the program. For proposals judged to have merit, Barrick will fund research and development. For a technology that is successfully implemented at Veladero, the company is offering a performance bonus of $10 million.
Barrick’s Unlock the Value program invites scientists and researchers from around the world to propose new methods or technologies to unlock the silver at its Veladero mine. There are an estimated 180 million ounces of silver contained in gold reserves there, but, because the silver particles are encapsulated in silica, current processing methods are recovering very little of the silver. Barrick is looking for innovative proposals that will provide an economically viable way to significantly increase silver recovery. The Unlock the Value program reflects a growing trend among businesses to use the internet for applied research.
The Unlock the Value program has generated more than 60,000 visitors to the program website www.unlockthevalue.com. A total of 1,750 researchers from 43 countries have registered as participants on the site.
“Barrick is reaching out to collaborate with the scientific community worldwide,” said Dr. Kondos. “We are primarily focused on solving the Veladero silver problem at present but this program forges connections with scientists so that it will become a platform for on-going innovation in various aspects of our operations.”
Barrick Gold Corporation is the world’s preeminent gold mining company with 27 operating mines and 20,000 employees worldwide. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Barrick’s vision is to be the world’s best gold company by finding, acquiring, developing and producing quality reserves in a safe, profitable and socially responsible manner. Founded in 1983, Barrick celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2008. Barrick shares are traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. For more information, visit www.barrick.com.
Contacts: INVESTOR CONTACT: Deni Nicoski Vice President, Investor Relations (416) 307-7410 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org MEDIA CONTACT: Vincent Borg Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications (416) 307-7477 Email: email@example.com
SOURCE: Barrick Gold Corporation