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Barrick's Q4'19 gold output, sales rise QOQ

Barrick Gold Corp. reported preliminary gold production of 1.44 million ounces for the fourth quarter of 2019, rising from 1.31 Moz in the third quarter of 2019, according to preliminary figures released Jan. 16.

Gold sales climbed to 1.41 Moz from 1.32 Moz, with average gold prices reaching US$1,481 per ounce. Financials for 2019 will be released Feb. 12.

Barrick said gold production and sales during the fourth quarter of 2019 were higher compared with the previous quarter thanks to the strong performance of the Turquoise Ridge mine in Nevada, part of the company's Nevada Gold Mines LLC joint venture with Newmont Corp., as well as the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic and the Veladero mine in Argentina.

Cost of sales in the December 2019 quarter is expected to be in line with the September 2019 quarter, when Barrick's share came in at US$1,065/oz.

The company expects total cash costs to decrease 1% to 3% quarterly from US$710/oz and expects all-in sustaining costs to decline 6% to 8% from the US$984/oz recorded in the third quarter of 2019.

Full-year 2019 output reached 5.47 Moz, near the upper end of the annual guidance range of 5.1 Moz to 5.6 Moz.

Copper output in the December 2019 quarter rose to 117 million pounds from 111 million pounds in the previous quarter, bringing the full-year figure to 432 million pounds, beating guidance of 375 million to 430 million pounds.

Copper sales in the quarter totaled 91 million pounds at average prices of US$2.67 per pound. The company noted that copper sales are lower compared to production levels during the fourth quarter due to the ongoing refurbishment at one of the third-party smelters that process part of the concentrate produced from the Lumwana mine in Zambia.

Cost of sales is expected to be 4% to 6% higher than Barrick's share of US$2/lb recorded in the prior quarter. C1 cash costs are forecast to rise 6% to 8% quarterly from US$1.62/lb. All-in sustaining costs are anticipated to increase 2% to 4% quarterly from US$2.58/lb.