Canadian gold major Barrick Gold is not considering redomiciling to the US, CEO Mark Bristow said on Monday, stressing that the group was “very comfortable” in Ontario.
He was responding to an analyst question on the issue during Barrick’s second-quarter results webcast, following a news article last week which stated the world’s second largest gold miner was considering switching its primary stock listing to the NYSE.
A primary US listing would allow Barrick to be traded on the S&P 500.
“It is possible to get onto the S&P without redomiciling. And to redomicile in the US just to be able to get on the S&P, that’s a questionable decision,” Bristow said, highlighting the high cost of moving domiciles.
Scotiabank analyst Tanya Jakusconek, who posed the question during the call, estimates that to redomicile will cost Barrick more than $300-million.
Bristow further commented that while the group had restructured its business in Canada, it did not mean that Barrick was not committed to the Canadian mining industry. “We continue to hunt for new opportunities in Canada.”
The Hemlo operation, east of Thunder Bay in Ontario, had also delivered some “exciting opportunities”, having teetered on the verge of closing for more than ten years, Bristow said.
Production from the revitalised Hemlo was on track to achieve this year's guidance of 200 000 oz to 220 000 oz, although costs were trending higher, impacted primarily by higher gold prices and the higher net profit royalty. The all-in sustaining guidance for Hemlo is between 1 200/oz and 1 250/oz.
“One more challenging year lies ahead of us at Hemlo. But beyond that, the mine should be looking at a ten-year runway with potential upside,” Bristow said, pointing out that the potential upside at Hemlo was “significant”.
“We are growing our geological knowledge of the area, revising the models, defining new targets, with a potential to open up new mining fronts and acquiring additional rights. Our aim is not only to extend the known ore bodies, but to find new ones. District-scale exploration, well beyond the current known limits of the ore bodies, has started at Hemlo after years of inactivity.”
Hemlo produced 54 000 oz in the second quarter, compared with 57 000 oz in the first quarter and 55 000 oz in the corresponding period.