African Barrick Gold (ABGL.L) aims to build an underground operation beneath existing open pits after finding more gold at its North Mara mine in Tanzania.

The London-listed company declared an initial resource of 370,000 ounces beneath two open pit operations at North Mara, it said in a statement on Thursday.

The discovery provides "the potential to develop a substantial underground operation at the Gokona and Nyabigena deposits with an attractive grade profile", it said.

Further drilling early next year is expected to boost the underground resource to more than 1 million ounces.

"This initial underground resource at North Mara underpins our confidence in the prospectivity of the region and its potential to deliver significant incremental ounces to our future production profile," Chief Executive Greg Hawkins said.

North Mara, consisting of three open pits, is one of four mines run by African Barrick in northwest Tanzania.

The company is majority owned by Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), the world's biggest gold producer.


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