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Barrick Gold Corp. announced preliminary gold production of 1.35 million ounces and copper production of 97 million pounds for the quarter ending June 30, the day before the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture between Barrick and Newmont Goldcorp Inc. went into effect.

The gold production for the second quarter companywide is up from 1.07 million ounces of gold in the second quarter of 2018, which was before Toronto-based Barrick acquired Randgold Resources, on Jan. 1 of this year. Copper production in the second quarter of last year totaled 83 million pounds.

Barrick’s gold production in Nevada was 526,000 ounces in the second quarter, up from 464,000 ounces in the 2018 quarter. The 2019 production includes 280,000 ounces of gold from Cortez at Crescent Valley, 181,000 ounces from Goldstrike north of Carlin and 65,000 ounces for Barrick’s 75 percent share of Turquoise Ridge in Humboldt County.

Companywide, Barrick reported in its July 18 announcement that gold sales totaled 1.37 million ounces and copper sales totaled 97 million pounds in the second quarter.

The average market price for gold in the quarter was $1,309 an ounce, and the average copper price was $2.77 per pound, according to Barrick.

Barrick’s share price closed on July 18 at $17, up 33 cents.

Barrick and Newmont closed their Nevada Gold Mines deal July 1, so the third-quarter production report will include the joint venture deal that puts operation of all the Barrick and Newmont mines under Barrick’s leadership, with Barrick owning 61.5 percent and Newmont owning 38.5 percent of the joint venture

Nevada Gold Mines includes 10 underground and 12 open pit mines, as well as processing facilities, and the joint venture expects to produce between 1.8 million and 1.9 million ounces of gold in the second half of this year.

Barrick stated in the July 18 production and sales announcement that the production and sales figures are at the upper range of the 2019 group guidance range companywide. The company also said the joint venture is “expected to positively impact the production outlook for the year.”

The second-quarter production was driven by strong performances from Loulo-Gounkoto, a mine in Mali owned 80 percent by Barrick and 20 percent by the Mali government, and Veladero in Argentina, a 50-50 joint venture between Barrick and Shandong Gold, the company reported.

Barrick pointed out that Barrick Nevada production was down in the second quarter from the first quarter of this year, when the Nevada mines produced 572,000 ounces, and the company wrote there were production interruptions at Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic in the second quarter. That mine is 60 percent owned by Barrick and 40 percent by Newmont Goldcorp.

Barrick advised that second-quarter costs per ounce are expected to be slightly higher, but the cost figures and more details on the production and sales won’t be available until the company issues its second-quarter report on Aug. 12.

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