Barrick just makes 2017 production guidance

Barrick sold half of Veladero, one of the largest gold mines in Argentina, to China’s Shandong mid-2017. (Image courtesy of Barrick Latin America)

Shares in Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX)(TSX:ABX) retreated slightly in after hours trade on Tuesday after the company announced full year production that came in at the lower end of production guidance.

Barrick, the world’s top producer of gold, is up 5% since the start of the year in line with a stronger gold price which set fresh 4-month highs around $1,340 an ounce on Tuesday. The Toronto-based company is now worth $18.4 billion in New York.

According to a statement preliminary full year gold production for 2017 came in 5.32 million ounces at the bottom end of its 5.3-5.5 million ounces guidance; a number twice adjusted downwards from its outlook at the start of the year of a range of 5.6–5.9 million ounces.

Barrick sold 50% of the Argentina mine to China’s Shandong Gold for $960 million mid-year

Only Barrick’s flagship Nevada operations managed to increase output last year adding 157koz. Lower output compared to 2016, when the company produced 5.52 million ounces of gold, was also the result of a stake sale in its Veladero mine in Argentina. Barrick sold 50% of the mine to China’s Shandong Gold for $960 million mid-year.

A steep decline at its 64%-owned Acacia unit in Tanzania, which has been at loggerheads with the East African nation’s government over tax payments, and lower output at its Turquoise Ridge mine also depressed full year results.

Preliminary fourth quarter gold production was 1.34 million ounces, and preliminary fourth quarter gold sales were 1.37 million ounces. Barrick said preliminary full year gold sales were 5.30 million ounces. Barrick achieved an average market price for gold in the fourth quarter of $1,275 per ounce.

Preliminary full year copper production was 413 million pounds, which was slightly below the company’s adjusted guidance of 420-440 million pounds for 2017, but in line with Barrick’s original full year guidance of 400-450 million pounds.

Preliminary full year copper sales were 405 million pounds. Preliminary copper production in the fourth quarter was 99 million pounds, and preliminary copper sales in the fourth quarter were 107 million pounds. The average market price for copper in the fourth quarter was $3.09 per pound.

Barrick said fourth quarter and full year financial results will be released February 14.

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