Wednesday May 13, 2009 Buzwagi pours first gold STAFF WRITER, 11th May 2009 @ 23:26, BARRICK Gold President and CEO Aaron Regent announces Buzwagi's first gold pour at a meeting in Toronto recently. (Photo by a Correspondent) "For any mining company, a new mine entering production is always an exciting time - particularly for the development team" Tanzania last week dug deeper into its golden era, after Barrick Gold's new Buzwagi mine in Kahama District, Shinyanga Region, started production. Buzwagi mine is now one of the country's largest mining operations and Barrick Gold, the world's largest mining house, has expressed excitement on its first gold pour. "For any mining company, a new mine entering production is always an exciting time - particularly for the development team," said Barrick Gold President and CEO, Aaron Regent. Adding that: "The team constructed Buzwagi on time and in line with its budget of about 400 million US dollars (about 538bn/-). They also successfully managed to do this with an outstanding safety record." In 2009, Buzwagi is expected to produce approximately 200,000 ounces of gold at total cash costs of $320-$335 per ounce. The Buzwagi project is a catalyst for economic growth, with an initial investment of 500bn/- during its construction phase and over 1.5trillion/- when it becomes operational. During construction, Buzwagi provided over 3,000 jobs and will cater for 700 jobs directly and an estimated 2,800 in indirect employment during operation.Barrick Gold spent over 75bn/- on salaries over a two year period during the construction of the mine. It is estimated that Buzwagi will pay over 150bn/- in salaries over the 15 years of operations. Proven and probable gold reserves at Buzwagi are 3.3 million ounces as at year-end 2008. Buzwagi is the first of the company's new generation of mines to enter production. Cortez Hills in Nevada is expected to start production in the first quarter of 2010 and Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2011. Combined, the three projects represent almost two million ounces of production at lower cash costs than the current portfolio average. Barrick's next project on the horizon is the Pascua-Lama project which lies on the Chile/Argentina border. The Buzwagi Gold Mine required a substantial capital investment of approximately US $400 million. Buzwagi is referred to as a marginal mine because while requiring investment of $400 million to access 3.3 million ounces of reserves, a mine like Bulyanhulu required $280 million for over 10 million ounces of reserves. Hence, the viability of Buzwagi Project is easily affected by small changes in price or cost. Barrick shares are listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.Barrick Gold Tanzania operates three mines in Bulyanhulu in Shinyanga Region, North Mara and Tulawaka in Kagera Region.