Missed expectations for Barrick's production

Company News

by Glenn Dyer

For yet another quarter, the world's second-biggest gold miner has missed forecasts and forecasted an inflation-topping jump in costs for both gold and copper.

Barrick was unable to beat production estimates in 2023 when production totaled 4.054 million ounces - down from 2022’s 4.141 million and a long way short of 2019’s most recent peak of 5.465 million ounces.

The company reported a total preliminary output of 940,000 ounces of gold in the three months to March 31, below analysts' estimates of 984,000 ounces, according to market forecasts. The miss came despite an extra day in February.

Planned maintenance, especially at its majority-owned Nevada Gold Mines hub (Newmont is the minority shareholder), was a major factor in the shortfall.

The production figure included a small contribution from the Porgera mine in PNG, which was restarted after being idled for several years.

Barrick said it expects all-in-sustaining costs (AISC) per ounce of gold, an industry metric that reflects total expenses, to be about 7% to 9% higher than the previous quarter.

Preliminary copper production came in at 40,000 tonnes, down from 51,255.94 tonnes in the previous quarter, largely due to lower grades mined at Barrick’s Lumwana mine in Zambia.

The AISC for copper is expected to rise by 14% to 16% from the previous quarter.

Despite the weak start, the company says it expects to meet 2024 guidance, with production expected to rise through the quarter as Porgera and another mine ramp up output.

Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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