Goldcorp stock is being ripped apart

Money is going down a hole

Goldcorp (TSE:G, NYSE:GG) came under heavy selling on Thursday after the Vancouver-based miner reported a bigger than expected $2.4 billion loss for the final quarter of 2014.

In heavy volume the world’s most valuable gold stock was last trading down 8.7% at $21.30 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The counter is worth $18.5 billion in New York and C$21.8 billion in Toronto and still boast a 15% gain for the year to date, despite a lacklustre gold price.

The bulk of the loss is as a result of Goldcorp writing down the value of its Cerro Negro mine in Argentina by $2.3 billion.

Goldcorp said it slashed the valuation of Cerro Negro, which only entered commercial production at the beginning of the year, due to the decline in market valuation of future exploration potential at the mine, as well as “challenging fiscal conditions” including new taxes and runaway inflation in the South American country.

Goldcorp will still spend $235 million this year developing the mine which has reserves of 5.7 million ounces. Total capex budget for Goldcorp in 2015 is put at $1.2 billion – $1.4 billion, nearly half of the previous.

All in costs for the company for 2014 were $949 per ounce of gold, and the company is targeting AISC of $875 – $950 per ounce this year. The company is upping production a whopping 20% this year from 2.87 million ounces in 2014 to between 3.3 million – 3.6 million ounces.

Yesterday Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX, TSE:ABX), the number one gold miner in terms of production, also impaired some of its assets and announced a $2.85 billion loss but its investors were more forgiving on Thursday.

Barrick took a $930 million impairment charge related to its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia and $778 million on its Cerro Casale project in Chile which it is putting on ice.

The Toronto-based company added 4.5% in New York, bringing its year to date gains to 19% and lifting its market value above $14 billion.

Barrick suspended operations at Lumwana in December after the African nation raised the royalty rate on open pit mining operations from 6% to 20%. Barrick expects to produce 6.2 to 6.6 million ounces of gold this year, a slight increase from 2014.