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Barrick’s gold production rises

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Barrick Gold Corp.’s gold production for the second quarter totaled 1.04 million ounces, according to the company’s preliminary report released July 14, including 462,000 ounces for its share of Nevada Gold Mines production.

Total gold production of 1.043 million ounces was up slightly from 1.041 million ounces in the second quarter of 2021.

The 462,000 ounces for Nevada Gold Mines are up from 452,000 ounces in the second quarter of 2021 for Barrick’s 61.5%. Newmont Corp. owns the remaining 38.5% of the joint venture that operates the Carlin, Cortez, Turquoise Ridge, Long Canyon and Phoenix mines.

Barrick stated that production was higher companywide in the second quarter over the first quarter, when gold production totaled 1 million ounces, because of a stronger performance across its operations, especially Carlin and Turquoise Ridge in Nevada, Veladero in Argentina and Bulyanhulu and North Mara in Tanzania.

Carlin mines produced 243,000 ounces in the second quarter ending June 30 for Barrick, compared with 190,000 ounces in the second quarter of last year when the Goldstrike roaster was down, while Cortez produced 97,000 ounces, down from 110,000 in the 2021 quarter.

Cortez’s production was lower in the second quarter due to mine sequencing as it transitions from the end of open pit mining at Pipeline to a new phase at Crossroads, which should boost performance in the fourth quarter, according to Barrick.

Turquoise Ridge produced 75,000 gold ounces in the second quarter for Barrick’s share, compared with 78,000 ounces in the second quarter of last year, and Long Canyon produced 21,000 ounces for Barrick’s share, down from 46,000 ounces in the 2021 quarter. The Phoenix Mine produced 26,000 ounces of gold, down from 28,000 ounces in the 2021 quarter.

Barrick also reported that the average market gold price for gold in the second quarter was $1,871 per ounce, up from the market average in the second quarter of 2021 at $1,816 per ounce, but the price is falling this month, with the spot price at $1,710.50 per ounce before noon on July 14.

The average market price of copper was $4.32 per pound in the quarter. Copper’s closing price at the end of the second quarter dropped to $3.83 per pound, however, and Barrick is predicting the average realized price will be 13-15% below the average market price for the quarter because of provisional price adjustments that reflect the decrease near the end of the quarter.

Barrick’s copper production was 120 million pounds in the second quarter, up from 96 million pounds in the 2021 quarter, driven by Lumwana in Zambia, but copper sales totaled 113 million in the second quarter because of timing of shipments.

The company’s gold production for the first six months of this year was a little more than 2 million ounces, including 921,000 from its share of Nevada Gold Mines production.

Toronto-based Barrick also stated that the second-quarter gold production companywide is expected to increase through the year and remains on track to achieve 2020 gold production guidance of 4.2 million to 4.6 million ounces for this year.

Additionally, the company reported that the gold cost of sales is expected to be 1% to 3% higher in the second quarter than in the first quarter and total cash costs per ounce are expected to be 2% to 4% higher, while all-in sustaining costs are expected to be 3% to 5% higher. All-in sustainable costs averaged $1,164 per ounce in the first quarter of this year.

Barrick will be presented its full earnings report for the second quarter before North American markets open on Aug. 8 and Barrick’s president and chief executive officer, Mark Bristow, will do a virtual presentation on Aug. 8, as well.

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