The world's No. 2 gold miner wants to explore the region after it had success with its Kibali gold mine in the northeast DRC. The mine produced 343,000 ounces of gold in 2023, which was nearly 8.5% of the company's output for the year.

Barrick had also said last year it was keen to look for more copper deposits in Zambia and DRC as it looks to expand its presence on the African copperbelt.

Zambia, where the company has its Lumwana mine, is Africa's second-largest copper producer, behind its northern neighbour Congo.

(Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)