Barrick Gold partners with Cisco in bid to boost productivity

Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:18am EDT
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Sept 12 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp, the world's biggest gold producer, said on Monday it would partner with Cisco Systems to incorporate digital technology in all aspects of its mining business, aiming to improve productivity and efficiency.

Toronto-based Barrick said it would work with Cisco to first develop a flagship digital operation at its Cortez gold mine in Nevada, embedding technology in various parts of the operation to deliver better, faster and safer mining.

Mining sector players have long lamented the lack of technological innovation in the industry although some miners such as Dundee Precious Metals have started using wireless technology and software platforms to track underground operations in real time.

"Harnessing the potential of digital technology will unlock value across our business, helping us grow our free cash flow per share," Barrick Executive Chairman John Thornton said in a statement.

Thornton said the partnership with Cisco will enhance productivity and efficiency at Barrick mines and improve decision-making and performance.

For example, interactive data rooms will be set up with real-time data on mining operations, along with ways to analyze this data and make predictions from the information, Barrick said.

Barrick said the move will help it reduce its environmental impact and allow it to be more transparent with indigenous communities, local governments and non-governmental organizations.

Barrick's shares were up 1.3 percent at C$23.17 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, in line with other gold stocks. (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Will Dunham)