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By Baeau Tai

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 5) – Key executives from Canadian gold mining giant Barrick Gold Corp have been visiting Placer Dome’s Porgera gold mine and offices over the past two weeks to welcome Placer employees and stakeholders to the Barrick family.

The successful worldwide US$10.4 billion take over of Placer by Barrick has allowed gold mining in Papua New Guinea to enter a new era, including Placer’s share of the Porgera gold mine.

John Shipp, president of Barrick’s Australia and Africa region, together with David Tucker, general manager of Business Development and Public Affairs, traveled to the country this week to meet with the Placer Dome Niugini team and visit the Porgera mine.

Mr. Shipp, who is looking forward to working with the Placer team, said he was confident the merger of the two companies would create a new company that will remain at the forefront of gold mining for many years to come.

"Barrick is pleased to have an investment in Papua New Guinea through our 75 percent holding in the Porgera mine. This is a vibrant and exciting country in which to work, and the Porgera mine is one of the most productive in the world – we are proud to be involved with it," he said.

Mr. Shipp and Mr. Tucker met with top officials from the National Government, including Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, earlier this week, and held talks with Engan Members of Parliament to discuss the Barrick-Placer merger.

They will travel to Porgera today for meetings with PJV management and employees and also to meet with Porgeran community leaders.

The merger of Barrick and Placer Dome, which will see Barrick emerge as the world’s largest gold miner, has been progressing smoothly since Jan. 19, after the majority of Placer shareholders accepted Barrick’s offer to acquire their shares in the company.

Barrick is the world’s leading gold producer, mining about five million ounces each year.

It has a portfolio of operating mines and development projects located in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Tanzania.

The company increased its reserves by over 3 million ounces in 2004, with gold mineral reserves of 89 million ounces as of Dec. 31, 2004.

Last year, the company expected gold production to be 5.3 to 5.5 million ounces at an average total cost of about US$225 per ounce.

February 6, 2006

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