Barrick Gold is seeking to digitally overhaul its business and boost mining productivity under a partnership with US-based technology firm Cisco.

The companies will primarily focus on research and development, and use their combined networks to drive Barrick Gold’s digital reinvention.

Initially, a flagship digital operation will be developed at the Cortez mine in Nevada by embedding digital technology in every dimension of the mine in a bid to deliver better and safer mining.

Barrick Gold executive chairman John Thornton said: "Harnessing the potential of digital technology will unlock value across our business, helping us grow our free cash-flow per share.

"Harnessing the potential of digital technology will unlock value across our business."

“Just as importantly, digital technology will allow us to reduce our environmental impact and be even more transparent with our local partners, especially indigenous communities, local governments, and NGOs."

Through advanced sensing technology and real-time operational data at the mine decision-making can be improved and equipment will be automated for increased productivity.

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Cisco executive chairman John Chambers said: "We are going through the greatest technology and business transition ever, the Digital Era, which will dwarf the Information Era and the value of the Internet to date.

"Barrick has long been known for its focus on innovation, and with Cisco's advanced technologies and strategic network of partners, we can extend the frontiers of the natural resources industry."

Cisco will build on the Cortez mine digitisation experience and support Barrick as it transforms its complete business over time.

New digital tools will improve scenario planning and portfolio management and permit Barrick to make better decisions.

By integrating digital technology into the heart of the business Barrick will also be able to become transparent with its partners.