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Mine Plans for Power

Sat June 12, 2004 - West Edition

CARSON CITY, NV (AP) Barrick Gold Corp. is getting into the electricity business with an electric power plant in Storey County that will supply its eastern Nevada mines.

The gas-fired plant will be built near the Sierra Pacific Power Co. station at Tracy, east of Reno.

Company spokesman Vince Borg said that Toronto-based Barrick talked with Sierra Pacific about expanding the Tracy plant, but could not reach an agreement.

Borg said that while the power will be used by Barrick’s properties near Carlin on the Eureka-Elko county line, the Storey County site was viewed as the best location because of existing electric power and a natural gas pipeline less than one-half mile away.

Power will be transmitted along Sierra Pacific lines. Borg said it is too soon to say whether the utility will be able to use any of the power.

He said the plant will cost just under $100 million to build. Barrick began making plans to produce its own electricity after the energy crunch three years ago and hopes to have the plant on line in about one year.

During construction, there would be up to 350 jobs generated by the project. Once completed, it would be operated by a crew of fewer than 25. It would generate up to 118 megawatts of power from 14 gas-driven generators.

Barrick said that would cover a substantial portion of the electric service needs at Goldstrike’s two mines – the Betze Post open pit and the Meikle underground mine.

Between them, those two mines have already produced more than 25 million ounces of gold. Barrick officials said they have reserves of more than 19 million ounces at Carlin.