TORONTO – Barrick Gold Corp.’s second-quarter earnings report highlights the company’s growth projects in Nevada while stating that there was a net loss of $94 million, or 8 cents per share, and adjusted net earnings of $81 million, or 7 cents per share.
Net earnings in the second quarter of last year totaled $1.08 billion and adjusted net earnings in the 2017 quarter were $261 million. The lower earnings this year primarily reflect a drop in gold sales, according to the company.
For Nevada, the company announced a new high-grade gold discovery at Fourmile within the Cortez District and that it is allocating $10 million in additional funds for drilling at the site over the remainder of this year. Fourmile is just north of the Goldrush site.
“This discovery demonstrates the significant untapped geological potential of Barrick’s properties in Nevada, where the company is evaluating a project to increase processing capacity in order to accommodate new production from organic projects and bring forward production from stockpiles,” Barrick wrote.
Barrick said the other projects in Nevada at Cortez, Goldrush and Turquoise Ridge are advancing on schedule and on budget.
Barrick reported construction is under way of a third shaft at Turquoise Ridge that should allow the mine to roughly double production to more than 500,000 ounces a year combined for Barrick and Newmont. Thyssen Mining, the contractor sinking the shaft, is now mobilizing on site.
Barrick also reported that the company began a new system for shipping ore from Turquoise Ridge to Newmont’s Twin Creeks Mine nearby for processing. Ore had been stockpiled, before transport to Twin Creeks but will now be sent directly to Twin Creeks. There will be a one-time change in inventory that will increase costs this year, but the system will be more efficient in the future.
Newmont owns 25 percent of Turquoise Ridge, which is north of Golconda, and Barrick is the 75 percent owner and operator.
Goldrush is expected to produce a half-million ounces of gold a year when in full production, according to Barrick. Portal pad construction for the twin declines for the underground operation was completed in the first quarter of this year and decline development started in the second quarter.
The company also wrote that the Cortez Deep South Project will be adding roughly 300,000 ounces of annual gold production when fully in operation between 2024 and 2028. Deep South will use infrastructure already approved under current mining plans.
Gold production companywide totaled 1.07 million ounces at a cost of sales applicable to gold of $882 per ounce and cash costs of $605 per ounce. Copper production was 83 million pounds in the second quarter.
Barrick Nevada’s production totaled 464,000 ounces in the second quarter, compared with 741,000 ounces in the second quarter of last year. The lower production was partially attributed to maintenance shutdowns. Barrick Nevada includes operations at Goldstrike north of Carlin and Cortez near Crescent Valley.
Turquoise Ridge produced 69,000 ounces in the quarter for Barrick’s share, up from 24,000 ounces in the 2017 quarter.