Barrick Gold Corp.'s third-quarter gold output rose to 1.31 million ounces, from 1.15 Moz in 2018, and sales climbed to 1.32 Moz from 1.20 Moz, according to preliminary figures released Oct. 17.
The gold major noted that the results included contributions from its Nevada Gold Mines LLC joint venture with Newmont Goldcorp Corp., which was officially formed in July. The companies agreed to form the joint venture following Barrick's failed hostile bid for Newmont.
Copper production increased year over year to 111 million pounds from 106 million pounds, while sales plummeted to 64 million pounds from 114 million pounds due to a major refurbishment at a third-party smelter that processes some of the concentrate produced from the Lumwana mine in Zambia.
Barrick said it is evaluating alternative smelter opportunities while it waits for the renovation to be finished by the end of the year.
Production fell short of second-quarter output due to operational restrictions on the North Mara mine in Tanzania, which were lifted toward the end of the third quarter. Costs of sales in the third quarter are expected to be 11% to 13% higher than the previous quarter, when Barrick's share totaled US$964 per ounce, amid higher depreciation due to purchase price adjustments at its Nevada Gold Mines joint venture.
The company said full-year gold production is trending toward the upper end of guidance of 5.1 Moz to 5.6 Moz, while costs are expected to be at the lower end of the forecast range of US$870/oz to US$920/oz. The 2019 guidance for copper output of between 375 million pounds and 430 million pounds and for costs of US$2.40/lb to US$2.90/lb remained unchanged.