Barrick to double copper output to 1 billion lb. by 2031

The Reko Diq camp in Pakistan. Credit: Barrick Gold

Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) is looking to its growth portfolio to double its copper production by 2031 to 1 billion lb. of copper. President and CEO Mark Bristow said the copper increase plus its gold production was to boost total production to 6.8 million gold equivalent oz. by that date.

“The value of these projects, and in particular of our substantial and growing copper business, is currently underestimated by the market. If it was properly appreciated, Barrick would be commanding a premium to our peers,” Bristow told investors.

On the copper front, the $7 billion Reko Diq mine in Pakistan will be one of the 10 largest in the world when it reaches production in 2028 at an initial rate of 550 million lb. copper and 300,000 oz. gold annually. Barrick is the 50% owner, and the feasibility study will be complete by the end of 2024.

The Lumwana super pit expansion in Zambia is going ahead. It is expected to reach an annual output of 530 million lb. in 2028.

Barrick’s growing gold output is underpinned by the Fourmile development project. Part of Nevada Gold Mines, shared with Newmont, the new mine the output could be as much as 300,000 to 400,000 oz. The total output for the operation on a 100% basis is expected to grow to 3.7 million oz. toward the end of the decade.

In the mix is high-grade potential at the Horsham project and growing resources at Turquoise Ridge. The Porgera gold mine has been restarted in Papua New Guinea.