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Strong Q4 production caps off 'excellent' first year for new Barrick

Canadian major Barrick Gold Corp says a strong December-quarter operational performance has capped off an “excellent” first year since the merger with Africa-focused miner Randgold Resources early in 2019.
Strong Q4 production caps off 'excellent' first year for new Barrick Strong Q4 production caps off 'excellent' first year for new Barrick Strong Q4 production caps off 'excellent' first year for new Barrick Strong Q4 production caps off 'excellent' first year for new Barrick Strong Q4 production caps off 'excellent' first year for new Barrick

Barrick Gold says 2019 gold production came in near the top-end of guidance

Staff Reporter

The Toronto-based company said overall production of 5.5 million ounces gold was close to the top-end of its annual guidance of 5.1-5.6Moz, with copper output of 432Mlb topping the high-end of guidance for 430Mlb.

Barrick attributed its success in part to its 61.5% stake in the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture with Newmont, which contributed about 2.22Moz to the company's production profile.

The Mark Bristow-led company said December-quarter gold sales were estimated to be 1.41Moz, with copper sales totalling 91Mlb, based on preliminary production figures of 1.44Moz and 117Mlb, respectively.

Barrick said its 60%-owned Pueblo Viejo, in the Dominican Republic, and 50%-owned Veladero, in Argentina, were expected to contribute 179,000oz and 71,000oz, to the December-quarter total, respectively.

At North Mara, in Tanzania, normal operations resumed in the fourth quarter with output reaching 103,000oz, after restrictions at the tailings storage facility were lifted in September.

Barrick said the December-quarter cost of gold sales would be in line with that of the prior quarter and flagged a quarter-over-quarter decrease in gold total cash costs per ounce and all-in sustaining costs per ounce of about 1-3% and 6-8%, respectively.

While December-quarter copper sales were higher than the prior quarter, it was lower than fourth quarter production levels as Lumwana, in Zambia, continued to be impacted by a refurbishment at one of the third-party smelters that processed a portion of the concentrate produced by the mine, the company said. The refurbishment is expected to be completed this month.

For this reason, Barrick said December-quarter copper cost of sales per pound were expected to be 4-6% higher quarter-on-quarter, C1 cash costs per pound were expected to be 6-8% higher and copper AISC per pound were expected to 2-4% higher.

The company plans to report its quarterly and full-year 2019 results before North American markets open on February 12. 

Barrick's Toronto-quoted equity (TSX:ABX) has gained 50% over the past 12 months to C$23.60 on Thursday, having traded between $15.37-$26.69 over the period. It has a market capitalisation of $42 billion (US$32.2 billion).