Barrick targets higher output this year after missing FY guidance

14th February 2024 By: Creamer Media Reporter

Barrick targets higher output this year after missing FY guidance

The Pueblo Viejo operation in the Dominican Republic

Canada-headquartered bullion major Barrick Gold is forecasting higher gold production in 2024, setting a target of 3.9-million to 4.3-million ounces for the year.

This compares with gold production of 4.05-million ounces this year, which slightly missed the 2023 group guidance.

“Despite picking up the pace in the latter half of the year, Barrick couldn’t quite make up for the challenges it faced in the first half,” CEO Mark Bristow said on Wednesday.

Nevada Gold Mines, in the US, had a stronger fourth quarter on the back of higher grades and operational improvements, while Pueblo Viejo, in Dominican Republic, advanced the commissioning of the expansion plant, addressing most of the equipment failures.

The miner also produced 420-million pounds of copper in 2023.

Feasibility work advanced on the giant Reko Diq copper/gold project in Pakistan and the Lumwana Super Pit project in Zambia, both targeting production in 2028. These projects will rank among the world’s biggest copper mines, significantly advancing Barrick’s strategic objective of increasing the size and enhancing the quality of its growing copper portfolio.

“In true Barrick fashion, we kept our focus, dealt with the challenges, progressed our long-term strategic plans and delivered on some of our key objectives. Most significantly, we have sustained our industry-leading organic growth outlook and are still projecting a 30% increase in gold-equivalent production by the end of this decade,” Bristow said.

The group’s tier-one mines capitalised on the record gold price to deliver a robust financial performance.

Operating cash flows increased by 7% year-on-year to $3.7-billion and free cash flow was up by 50% at $646-million. Net earnings increased by 200% to $0.72 a share, and adjusted net earnings increased by 12% to $0.84 a share, while the quarterly dividend was maintained at 10c a share. 

Barrick pointed out that it had one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry with almost no net debt.