Production and potential at Nevada mines, along with anticipation over the acquisition of Randgold Resources Ltd., highlighted Barrick Gold Corp.’s 2018 third-quarter results released Oct. 25.
The senior gold company reported gold production of 1.15 million ounces, an increase over the previous quarter attributed partly to better results at Barrick Nevada.
The all-share merger with African miner Randgold — announced in late September and to be voted on Nov. 5 — positions the combined corporation to focus on a “common vision of long-term value creation. The combined company will have the largest portfolio of tier one gold assets in the industry …” Barrick stated in a press release.
A tier one company produces more than 500,000 ounces of gold a year, has a mine life greater than 10 years and is in the lower half of the cash-cost curve, Barrick CEO and Executive Chairman John Thornton said in a financial call with investors.
In Nevada, two high potential tier one assets are Turquoise Ridge and Fourmile at the Goldrush Camp.
Turquoise Ridge has growth potential thanks to the ongoing construction of a third shaft at the underground gold mine near Golconda, said Henri Gonin, Turquoise Ridge general manager. The company broke ground on the shaft during the second quarter, and has invested $59 million of the $325 million estimated capital costs on the project so far. Once in sustained production in 2023, the mine is estimated to produce 500,000 ounces of gold per year. Additionally, continued exploration at the mine, which is a joint venture with Newmont Mining Corp., has expanded the deposit in all directions.
Ongoing drilling at the Fourmile discovery, just north of the Goldrush project, continues to intersect high grade mineralization across a number of stratigraphic horizons, Barrick stated.
“This exciting area will continue to be a focus for years to come,” said Rob Krcmarov, executive vice president of exploration and growth.
In other updates regarding Barrick’s Nevada operations, the company stated that decline development at the Goldrush Project continues to advance, with a development contractor on-site during the third quarter. Twin declines position Barrick to continue exploration and poise the miner to begin production in the future. In full operation, the Goldrush underground project beyond Crescent Valley is expected to produce approximately 500,000 ounces of gold per year.
For Cortez Deep South, a draft environmental impact statement was published Oct. 22. Barrick expects a final decision in mid-2019 about the proposed mine, which could produce about 300,000 ounces of gold per year. The company has spent $31 million of the $106 million slated for the expansion of the Cortez operation outside of Crescent Valley.
Barrick also reported a net loss of $412 million, or 35 cents per share, and third quarter revenues of $1.84 billion. The company’s full-year gold production and cost guidance remains unchanged and the expected gold production for the fourth quarter is estimated at 1.24 million ounces.