TORONTO – Barrick Gold Corp.’s [ABX-TSX, GOLD-NYSE] said Wednesday that despite the challenges associated with COVID-19, the company has achieved it production targets for the third consecutive year.
Preliminary production for the full year in 2021 was 4.44 million ounces, a figure that was well within the company’s 4.4 to 4.7 million-ounce guidance range, with both Africa and the Middle East, and Latin America and Asia Pacific regions finishing the year at the higher end of their regional gold guidance range.
Preliminary copper production of 415 million pounds for 2021 was also within the guidance range of 410 to 460 million pounds.
Preliminary results for the fourth quarter show sales of 1.23 million ounces of gold and 113 million pounds of copper, as well as preliminary fourth quarter production of 1.20 million ounces of gold and 126 million pounds of copper. The average market price for gold in the fourth quarter was US$1,795 per ounce, while the average market price for copper was US$4.40 a pound.
Preliminary fourth quarter gold production was higher than the third quarter of 2021, mainly due to the strong performance from Carlin and Cortez (in Nevada) following the repair of the Goldstrike roaster completed at the end of the third quarter, which allowed for increased processing of material mined from both sites.
Preliminary fourth quarter gold sales were higher than the third quarter of 2021 as Veladero sold a portion of its built-up gold inventory. Barrick has said its gold all-in-sustaining costs are expected to be 4.0-6.0% lower than in the third quarter of 2021.
Barrick Gold shares closed at $23.24 on January 18, 2021 and now trade in a 52-week range of $30.65 and $22.30.
Barrick has gold and copper mining operations and projects in 13 countries in North and South America, Africa, Papua New Guinea and Saudi Arabia.
The portfolio includes half of the world’s top 10 tier one gold assets (defined as having a mine life of over 10 years, at least 500,000 ounces of annual production and in the bottom half of global total cash costs).
They include Cortez and Goldstrike in Nevada, Kibali in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Loulo-Gounkoto in Mali, and Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic.
Barrick has previously said Loulo-Gounkoto is on track to produce between 640,000 and 700,000 ounces of gold this year.
The Loulo-Gounkoto gold complex is set to remain a major contributor to the Malian [West Africa] economy well into the future as the company continues to replace the ore depleted by mining, said Barrick President and CEO Mark Bristow said recently.