Toronto, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 23 February 2009 – Barrick Gold Corporation – the world’s largest gold producer – has reported results that topped analysts’ estimates, helped by higher-than-expected copper output.
A company release issued here revealed that fourth-quarter profit, excluding goodwill impairments and other one-time items, was 32 cents a share, topping the 31-cent average estimate of 21 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. On a net basis, the company had a loss of US$468 million (R4.7 billion), or 53 cents a share, which compared with net income of US$537 million (R5.4 billion), or 61 cents, a year earlier.
Bloomberg News reports that CEO Aaron Regent – appointed last month – is seeking to boost output from the company’s 27 gold mines to benefit from the rising price of bullion, which has topped US$1 000 an ounce for the first time in almost a year. Still, gold output fell 1.4% in the quarter, while cash costs increased 28%.
For the full year, Barrick’s gold output was 7.66 million ounces, and costs were $443. Barrick said in October that it expected 2008 production of 7.6 million to 7.8 million ounces, while cash costs would be $425 to $445 an ounce. Output in 2007 was 8.06 million ounces at a cost of $350 an ounce.
Barrick says it produced 2.1 million ounces of gold in the fourth quarter at a total cash cost of $471 an ounce.
The company has forecast 2009 gold production of 7.2 million to 7.6 million ounces at total cash costs of $450 to $475 an ounce. It expects 2010 gold output of 7.7 million to 8.1 million ounces, helped by new production from the Cortez Hills development in Nevada.