Miner Barrick Gold said on Thursday that it remained on track to achieve its 4.4-million- to 4.7-million-ounce production target for the year, with all regions, except for North America, trending at the higher end of their regional guidance.
North America’s gold output, however, was trending at the lower end of the regional guidance, the NYSE- and TSX-listed company reported, stating that the Hemlo mine, in Canada, and the Turquoise Ridge mine, in the US, would miss their yearly guidance range.
Barrick reported a slow ramp-up of underground development at Hemlo, citing Covid-19 movement restrictions.
The mine, located in Ontario, produced 26 000 oz of gold in the third quarter – half its production of 55 000 oz in the same three-month period of 2020 and also less than the 42 000 oz produced in the second quarter of 2021.
Barrick was aiming to produce between 200 000 oz and 220 000 oz of gold this year from Hemlo. The mine’s year-to-date output is 115 000 oz.
For Nevada Gold Mines (NGM), both Carlin and Cortez would be at the lower end of their yearly guidance ranges, while Phoenix and Long Canyon would be at the top of their guidance ranges.
Production at Turquoise Ridge, also part of the NGM venture with Newmont, would be below its yearly guidance range, although output would still be higher than the prior year, Barrick stated.
Reporting its preliminary third-quarter production results, the group said that its gold output increased quarter-on-quarter, with improved performance at NGM following planned maintenance shutdowns in the previous quarter, the continuing ramp-up of operations at Bulyanhulu, in Tanzania, and improved performance at Veladero, in Argentina.
In the three months ended September. 30, total preliminary gold production rose to 1.09-million ounces, from 1.04-million ounces in the previous quarter.
Third-quarter gold cost of sales per ounce and total cash costs per ounce were both expected to be flat to 2% higher and all-in sustaining costs per ounce were expected to be 4% to 6% lower than the second quarter.
Preliminary third-quarter copper production was higher than in the second quarter, and the fourth quarter was expected to be the strongest quarter of the year, mainly driven by higher grades from Lumwana, in Zambia.
Third-quarter copper cost of sales per pound would be 5% to 7% higher, C1 cash costs per pound were expected to be flat to 2% higher and copper all-in sustaining costs per pound were expected to be 4% to 6% lower than in the second quarter.