Barrick maintains annual outlook despite drop in quarterly output

The North Mara gold mine is one of the three operations Barrick has in Tanzania. (Image courtesy of Twiga Minerals | Instagram.)

Barrick Gold Corp on Thursday maintained its full-year outlook even as gold production slipped nearly 9% in the first quarter, and also forecast higher output in the second half of the year as the Canadian miner ramps up some operations.

Prices for gold and copper recently hit record or multi-year peaks on the back of stimulus measures, which helped lift mining companies from production disruptions due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The company’s total preliminary gold production fell to 1.10 million ounces in the quarter ended March 31, from 1.21 million ounces on-quarter, affected partially by lower grades at its Pueblo Viejo mine in Dominican Republic.

Production of the yellow metal at the Pueblo Viejo mine fell nearly 14%, Barrick said, adding that overall all-in sustaining costs per ounce of gold are expected to be 8% to 10% higher than the previous quarter.

Barrick, which aims to increase its exposure to copper because of its expected higher use in electrification, also reported an nearly 22% drop in production of the red metal to 93 million pounds.

The miner expects copper production in the second half of 2021 to be stronger than the first half, mainly driven by higher grades from Lumwana copper mine in Zambia.

Barrick also recently reached a deal with the Papua New Guinea government to restart operations at its disputed Porgera mine.

(By Arundhati Sarkar; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Krishna Chandra Eluri)


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