The world’s second largest gold miner, Barrick Gold, on Monday announced strong second-quarter financial results, with adjusted net earnings surging to $415-million and free cash flow soaring to $522-million, capturing the benefit of higher gold prices.
The quarter's adjusted net earnings compare with $285-million in the first quarter and $154-million in the prior-year comparable quarter. Adjusted net earnings a share was 23c, up 44% from the first quarter and, according to the company, well ahead of the market consensus.
Free cash flow rose 849% in the June 2020 quarter, from $55-million in the same quarter last year. Free cash flow in the first half of the year rose 378% to $960-million.
Gold prices have been rising this year and subsequent to the June quarter-end, reached a new peak above $2 000/oz.
Barrick generated $1.03-billion in net cash in the quarter under review, which president and CEO Mark Bristow said demonstrated the quality of the group’s assets, management’s ability to capture the full benefit of higher gold prices, effective operational execution and the group’s deft handling of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact.
“Our flattened and decentralised management structure was a major factor in contending with Covid-19 while at the same time continuing to meet short-term targets and making significant progress towards our strategic objectives,” he said in a statement.
At the year’s halfway mark, Barrick was on track to achieve its yearly production guidance, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Second quarter results show year-to-date gold production of 2.4-million ounces, at the mid-point of its 4.6-million to 5-million ounce yearly guidance, driven by strong operating performances, particularly from Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) in the US, Loulo-Gounkoto in Mali and Kibali in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The copper portfolio also performed well, with Lumwana, in Zambia, posting its best quarterly production in years. Overall copper production was in the upper half of the guidance range and costs were trending towards the lower end.
Barrick declared a quarterly dividend of $0.08 a share, which is a 14% increase on the previous quarter’s dividend. The quarterly dividend has more than doubled since the announcement of the Barrick-Randgold merger in September 2018.