Barrick Gold Increases its Mining Profile in Tanzania Utilizing Komatsu Equipment

By Kevin Hughes, Nairobi Liaison Office, Komatsu Ltd.

PC2000 hydraulic excavator loading HD1500 dump truck

Mr. Asa Mwaipopo (third from left), mining manager of the Buzwagi Mine, and staff

PC4000 during commissioning

Support Staff of Komatsu and Panafrican Mining Services

Mr. Gavin Pearson, managing director of Panafrican Mining Services

Mr. Fred Owen, manager of the Buzwagi Project at Panafrican Mining Services

Komatsu Nairobi Liaison Office staff (from left): Mr. Yuji "Jimmy" Yamamoto, technical support manager; Mr. Kevin Hughes, general manager; Mr. Masaaki Kamizono, marketing manager; and Mr. Robert Finney, assistant technical manager

Barrick Gold Corporation, one of the largest international mining companies, operates the Bulyanhulu (underground), Tulawaka and North Mara gold mines in Tanzania, East Africa. In August 2007, Barrick announced the development of the Buzwagi Project, managed by its wholly owned subsidiary, Pangea Minerals Limited (PML).

Buzwagi is located in northwest Tanzania, and will be the second largest mining operation in the country. Production is expected to begin in mid-2009, generating 250 thousand to 260 thousand oz of gold per year in its first five full years of operation. Proven and probable reserves at Buzwagi are 3.3 million oz of gold and 79 million kg (175 million lb) of copper. The expected mine life based upon proven and probable reserves is more than 15 years. With continued exploration indicating additional reserves, it is anticipated that the mine may be extended.

PML Opts for Komatsu Mining Equipment
To enable the Buzwagi Project to achieve its production goal, Komatsu was chosen as the principal mining equipment supplier. In the process of selecting the right manufacturer and distributor as well as the type of equipment, PML had to give serious consideration to the fundamental issue of delivery to meet its start date objectives, in addition to productivity, reliability and product support.

Komatsu and its distributor in Tanzania, Panafrican Mining Services Tanzania Ltd., were able to demonstrate their abilities and meet all the requirements of the tender process. In April 2007, a purchase agreement was signed for the delivery of a number of large-sized machines including two units of PC4000 hydraulic excavators and seven units of HD1500 rigid dump trucks.

As the mine progresses, additional HD1500 dump trucks will be added to the fleet, reaching a total of 15 haulage units at the height of production.

Mr. Dave Anthony, general manager of the Buzwagi Mine, reports, "Komatsu and Panafrican Mining Services have met or exceeded every commitment up until now. Through the process of pioneer assembly and maintenance to the start-up of operations of the PML workshop, these people have been a pleasure to work with. This is a true partnership."

Product Support Major Key to PML Decision for Komatsu Equipment
Through the combined efforts of the Komatsu Nairobi Liaison Office and Panafrican Mining Services, both had demonstrated their capability to support the Komatsu fleet throughout the tender phase. As a result, PML opted for a full five-year Maintenance and Repair Contract (MARC) agreement with the Komatsu distributor.

Mr. Gavin Pearson, managing director of Panafrican Mining Services, notes, "From the initial stages of tendering, the communications with Barrick (PML) and Komatsu have been open and transparent, and we would not have been able to achieve the outcomes without the support of the Komatsu team."

Mr. Fred Owen, manager of the Buzwagi Project at Panafrican Mining Services, says, "Komatsu has continued to offer both the customer and us support through operator and technical training to ensure that the fleet is run properly as well as ensuring that the Panafrican Mining Services maintenance team is well equipped to manage any technical issues that may arise."

The geographical location of the Buzwagi Project has and will continue to present a number of challenges, particularly in terms of development of the region and the environment. It is also recognized that the continued success of the project will be determined largely based on the ability to provide continuous, first-rate support and deliver optimal equipment performance.

To this end, Komatsu and Panafrican Mining Services will continue to focus on the implementation of internal systems and processes to meet their obligations and guarantees to the customer, and thus ensure the success of the project.