Barrick clings to top gold miner title as Newmont falls short

Gary Goldberg, Newmont Mining Corporation CEO (File image: NMC)

About 50,000 ounces — or about 125 gold bars — is all that stood in the way of Newmont Mining Corp. claiming the title of world’s biggest bullion producer.

The Greenwood Village, Colorado-based miner said Thursday its 2017 gold production was 5.27 million ounces, ending the year in a near dead-heat with industry leader Barrick Gold Corp., which produced 5.32 million ounces.

However, Newmont reiterated its outlook that exceeds Barrick’s forecasted output for the next four years.

Goldberg has increasingly highlighted his company’s growth prospects to investors, as well as Newmont’s commitment to lure investors away from ETFs with high dividends. On Tuesday, the miner almost doubled its quarterly payout to 14 cents a share. That has helped Newmont vault ahead of Toronto-based Barrick by market share, but not output. Newmont produced more gold than Barrick in the second half of 2017, but not enough to result in a full-year beat.

Newmont’s fourth-quarter production was 1.34 million, matching Barrick’s output.