Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest producer of the precious metal, sees Indonesia as a possible site for exploration as it hunts for gold and copper deposits across South Asia.
The company’s Asia-Pacific exploration team is searching for deposits along a vast mineral belt that stretches from Pakistan to Papua New Guinea, according to Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow. Barrick does not have any confirmed exploration activities in Indonesia, but “certainly that’s part of our evaluation at this stage,” Bristow said in an interview.
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The Tethyan Eurasian metallogenic belt “will be the new Andean trade,” said Bristow, referring to the South Asian region where Barrick is exploring. “It’s got a huge endowment.” Barrick owns assets at both ends of that belt — the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea and the Reko Diq copper-gold mine in Pakistan.
Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, has an abundance of resources including nickel, copper and gold that have made it a major player for projects critical for electric vehicle production and precious metals. The country has also been pursuing policies designed to keep that mineral wealth within its borders by restricting exports and encouraging more processing at home.