Proactiveinvestors Australia Barrick Gold https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au Proactiveinvestors Australia Barrick Gold RSS feed en Sun, 16 Dec 2018 15:20:40 +1100 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Genera CMS action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[News - Fear bolsters gold stocks as volatile markets generate safe-haven buying ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/206924/fear-bolsters-gold-stocks-as-volatile-markets-generate-safe-haven-buying-206924.html Pervasive fear of a market rout is driving shares of major gold companies higher as investors flee to the traditional safe haven of the yellow metal, data compiled by Proactive Investors showed Thursday.

From South Africa to Canada, the United States to Australia, stocks of the biggest gold producers in the world lifted higher one day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its third-biggest single-day point loss in history as the index dove 830 points during the session.

Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX) stock climbed 9.76% to settle at C$16.475. Barrick was ranked as the biggest gold mining company in the world in 2017, according to specialist website Mining.com. Goldcorp Inc (TSX:G) saw its shares in Toronto climb 7.42% to close at C$14.18. 

Like most major gold companies, the two have their shares also listed in New York.

Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) stock in New York was up 6.92% to finish at US$10.81 while those of Barrick (NYSE:ABX) jumped 9.57% to end at US$12.60.

"Gold is finding a bit of support from the global sell-off seen in equities. If this (sell-off) persists, we will start seeing more of a move to gold as a safe-haven asset," ING analyst Warren Patterson said in a report by Reuters.

READ: US economic strength has been purchased at the price of a massive monetary expansion, which in turn puts a floor on the gold price

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE:GLD), the largest physically backed gold exchange-traded fund in the world, was 2.52% higher to end at US$115.72.

South African gold company DRDGold Ltd's (NYSE:DRD) US-listed shares added 4.48% to settle at US$2.33.

In South Africa, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd (JSE:ANG) (NYSE:AU) stock jumped 9.18% to close at 13,688 rand. The stock of the third-biggest world miner in New York rose 9.52% to settle at US$9.66.

Gold Fields Ltd (JSE:GFI) (NYSE:GFI) rose 6.95% to finish at 3,860 rand. In New York, the stock closed up 6.27% to US$2.80.

READ: Barrick Gold and Randgold Resources merge to create world's largest gold miner but questions still remain

In the US, shares of Denver-based Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) went up 7.04% to end at US$32.71. The company is ranked as the second biggest gold mining company in 2017.

Stock of Kinross Gold Corp (TSE:K) (NYSE:KGC) in Canada gained 4.31% to conclude at C$3.87 while rising 4.59% to end at US$2.96 in New York.

Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX:NCM) (OTC:NCMGY) was the only stock so far on Thursday not to post gains as it ended in Australia nearly flat at A$19.30, off A$0.01 for the day. In New York, the share was up 3.46% to close at US$14.12.

"Rising US yields and general strength in the dollar have meant that investors have largely ignored gold. But people are seeing fairly good value at current levels on the back of some macro concerns," Patterson said.

Reporting by Rene Pastor, contactable at rene.pastor@proactiveinvestors.com 

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Thu, 11 Oct 2018 11:06:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/206924/fear-bolsters-gold-stocks-as-volatile-markets-generate-safe-haven-buying-206924.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold strikes deal with Tanzania, sending Acacia Mining shares higher ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/185906/barrick-gold-strikes-deal-with-tanzania-sending-acacia-mining-shares-higher-185906.html Canadian mining major Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:ABX) has struck a deal with the Tanzanian government to resolve a dispute, which has hit operations in the country, sending shares in its London-listed subsidiary Acacia Mining PLC (LON:ACA)  surging.

Barrick agreed the African country would take a 16% stake in three gold mines operated by Acacia, a 50% share in revenues from the mines and a one-off payment of $300mln (£228m).

Reuters reported  that Barrick's chairman John Thornton said the deal would need to be approved by independent shareholders and directors of Acacia Mining.

Acacia said it had received a copy of the framework agreement referred to in a regulatory release by Barrick and was seeking further clarification.

"No formal proposal has been put to Acacia for consideration at this point in time," it said.

Acacia shares surged almost 17% to 213.50p late on Thursday.

Barrick has been in talks with Tanzania for months after it banned the export of unprocessed minerals and enacted new laws to raise state ownership of the nation's mines.

The East African country is the continent’s fourth largest gold producer.

"Following constructive discussions with our Tanzanian partners, we have developed a framework for a modern, 21st century partnership that should ensure Acacia's operations generate sustainable benefits and mutual prosperity for the people of Tanzania, as well as for the owners of Barrick and Acacia," said Barrick's executive chairman John Thornton.

"A partnership requires trust between the parties, and transparency is the currency of trust. Through our discussions over the last three months we have established both and this will form the basis of our relationship in the future."

Barrick holds a 63.9% interest in Acacia, which is operated independently of Barrick.

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Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:49:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/185906/barrick-gold-strikes-deal-with-tanzania-sending-acacia-mining-shares-higher-185906.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Corp is Jefferies top gold pick ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/171409/barrick-corp-is-jefferies-top-gold-pick-171409.html Barrick Gold Corp (TSX:ABX NYSE:ABX) is US broker Jefferies' top pick in the North American gold sector for its ongoing debt reduction, asset quality, and low costs.

While the broker concedes that Barrick shares will ultimately move with the gold price, it believes several 'self-help' measures should boost investment returns and the share price.

Over the past two years debt has shrunk by US$5bn. The aim now is to reduce borrowings by a further US$3bn to US$5bn and eventually eliminate it completely.

The mothballed Pascua-Lama development in South America, meanwhile, could potentially boost Barrick's production significantly over the next few years through the new phased approach recently proposed by the company.

Jefferies also sees some help from the gold price.

Since Donald Trump’s November US presidential election victory the spot price for the metal has dropped by around US$90 per oz.

The broker lowered its forecast for the gold price at the start of 2017 but expects a recovery through the year  and further out a price of around US$1,300 per ounce to stick.

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Tue, 10 Jan 2017 13:38:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/171409/barrick-corp-is-jefferies-top-gold-pick-171409.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold considering selling Acacia stake - reports ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/128707/barrick-gold-considering-selling-acacia-stake-reports-128707.html Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX; NYSE:ABX), the world's largest gold miner, is reportedly considering selling its 64% in Acacia Mining as part of a plan to become debt free.

The firm has approached numerous South African, Australian and North American miners about a sale in the stake said to be worth around US$1.9bn, according to news agency Reuters, which also cites  Harmony Gold, AngloGold Ashanti as potential buyers.

South African broker and investment bank Investec said: " The Barrick stake has been a question over Acacia for years, generally one of when do they divest and but more recently will they bring it all back into the fold.

"Acacia is now the most attractive it has ever been (operationally) but the trouble is that it is also close to highest valued it has ever been."

According to Reuters, three of the top five mining companies globally will have to boost their asset sales in the second half to meet disposal targets, which total about US$14bn.

They are Glencore (LON:GLEN), Anglo American (LON:AAL)) and Vale.

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Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:35:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/128707/barrick-gold-considering-selling-acacia-stake-reports-128707.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold stabilises after heavy cut-backs ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/125250/barrick-gold-stabilises-after-heavy-cut-backs-125250.html Gold sector bellwether Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) kept its production forecast this year unchanged despite lower revenues and output in the first three months.

Revenues fell 14% to US$1.93bn due to a weaker gold price and 8% decline in production to 1.18mln ounces.

Including one-off charges the world's largest gold miner posted a loss of US$83mln.

Underlying profits rose to US$127mln or 11c per share in the three months to March from US$62mln or 5c this time a year ago.

Barrick has been in retrenchment mode for three years now. Asset sales to reduce debts affected production and Barrick repeated it expects to produce between 5-5.5mln ounces this year.

That compares with 8mln ounces per year recently but Barrick is now focused on growing its cash flow.

“Our over-arching objective as a business is to grow our free cash flow per share in any foreseeable gold price environment,” it said.

The cash inflow totalled US$181mn in the first quarter to make four quarters in a row now it has generated cash.

The miner reduced its forecast of average all-in-sustaining–costs to between US$760-810 per ounce from US$775 to US$825 per ounce.

Debt reduced by US$842mln and Barrick said it is on target is to reduce debt by a further US$2bn in 2016.

Shares rose 1% to US$16.33.

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Tue, 26 Apr 2016 09:46:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/125250/barrick-gold-stabilises-after-heavy-cut-backs-125250.html
<![CDATA[News - Brokers - Mackie downgrades Barrick Gold and IAMGOLD ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/122749/brokers-mackie-downgrades-barrick-gold-and-iamgold-122749.html Broker Mackie has downgraded gold giant Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) from 'buy' to a 'hold' on valuation grounds and says the firm is getting on with life as a "senior gold producer".

The market has recognised the improvements the world's biggest gold miner is making in its underlying performance, notes analyst Barry Allan.

Since the third quarter of fiscal 2015,  the shares have performed nicely, rising off all-time lows and rising over 100%, he notes.

The group's 2015 production beat forecast with output of 6.12 million ounces better than the broker's 6.04 Moz forecast, largely due to excellent operating performance at Goldstrike and Cortez mines.

Meanwhile, the direct operating costs of US$596/oz were well below Mackie's US$615/oz forecast.

"As 2015 results confirm, ABX has made good strides in solving an over-leveraged balance sheet and halting the development of questionable projects of low-return.

"The attention has shifted to getting the best from its core mines, which operating results have shown to be a good strategy. While further assets sales are anticipated, the overwhelming shift will be to maximize operating results."

Meanwhile, the same broker reckons IAMGOLD (NYSE:IAG) is still a share to avoid, and puts its rating down to 'sell' from 'hold'.

"With a flat to declining production profile for 2016 and 2017, and a relatively high, all-in cost of ~US$1,200, other than the potential for higher gold prices, there is no fundamental reason to be involved with the stock," notes Mackie.

The group is still treading water and going nowhere, it suggests..

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Fri, 19 Feb 2016 08:26:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/122749/brokers-mackie-downgrades-barrick-gold-and-iamgold-122749.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold to write down $3bn in assets; shares waver ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/121677/barrick-gold-to-write-down-3bn-in-assets-shares-waver-121677.html Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX), the world's biggest gold producer, said it expects to take charges of up to $3bn following an annual accounting impairment review. Shares fluctuated.

The Toronto, Ontario-based company said in a statement late Thursday that it may have to take a goodwill impairment charge of about $1.8bn, and asset impairment charges of $1.0-$1.2bn, based on its preliminary analysis.

The asset writedown is primarily attributed to its Pascua-Lama mining project, on the border of Chile and Argentina, and its Pueblo Viejo project in Dominican Republic.

Barrick also said it met its $3bn debt reduction target through non-core asset sales.

Barrick has been working hard to improve its balance sheet after gold prices slumped for three straight years.

Barrick said it will provide an update on the writedowns on February 17 when it reports detailed financial and operating results for the year ended December 31.

The write downs are non-cash items that reflect the reduced long-term value of the assets.

Shares were up 1.3% at C$12.05 at 1:25 p.m. in Toronto, after falling to as low as $11.46. The stock has lost 24% over the past year, but it is up 18% this month.

The company lowered its gold price assumption to $1,000 an ounce for 2016 and to $1,200 long term.

“In line with our objective of generating positive returns in virtually any foreseeable gold price environment, we have decided to use pricing for our impairment testing that is prudent in current market conditions,” Barrick President Kelvin Dushnisky said in the statement.

Barrick also said its preliminary 2015 production was 6.12mln ounces of gold, in line with the company’s latest guidance of 6 million to 6.15mln ounces.

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Fri, 22 Jan 2016 13:37:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/121677/barrick-gold-to-write-down-3bn-in-assets-shares-waver-121677.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold waiting for Newmont's call ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/114524/barrick-gold-waiting-for-newmont-s-call-114524.html Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX, NYSE:ABX) is waiting for Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) to contact it about taking full control of Australia's Super Pit mine.

Barrick, the world's biggest miner, has been busy cutting its debt mountain by selling off assets, but the 50% holding in the Super Pit gold mine has yet to be sold.

Newmont owns the other half of the Super Pit mine, and last week Newmont boss Gary Goldberg told news agency Reuters that the company would be interested in buying out Barrick, at the right price.

Barrick adviser and former president of the company, Jim Gowans, said on Thursday that discussions on a potential sale have yet to kick off.

 

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Thu, 01 Oct 2015 08:31:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/114524/barrick-gold-waiting-for-newmont-s-call-114524.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold scraps co-president model ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/114523/barrick-gold-scraps-co-president-model-114523.html Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX), the world’s largest bullion miner by production, named Kelvin Dushnisky as sole president, effective immediately.

Barrick is scrapping its unusual “co-president” management structure less than a year after it went into effect, as part of its efforts to become a more efficient gold miner. It will also continue to go without a chief executive officer, which is highly unusual for such a large company. 

Dushnisky previously held the title of co-president along with Jim Gowans, who will act as senior adviser to Chairman John Thornton until Gowans retires from the company at the end of the year, the Toronto, Ontario-based company said in a statement on Monday.

Richard Williams, who was chief of staff, has become chief operating officer, reporting to the newly appointed president.

Another Barrick executive, Basie Maree, has been named chief technical officer, reporting to Williams.

The changes are the latest in a string of management reshuffles at the miner in recent years. Last year, the company eliminated the CEO role and strengthened Thornton's role within the company. 

“As we work to accelerate Barrick’s return to the lean, decentralized model that drove the company’s early success, the time is right to put a structure in place that supports this vision,“ Thornton said in the statement.

Both Dushnisky and Williams are now the main executives responsible of assuring the Barrick reaches its goal of cutting costs by $2bn by the end of 2016.

Shares gained 2.4% to C$10.31 at 11.22 am. in Toronto, paring this year’s slump to 18%.

 

 

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Mon, 17 Aug 2015 11:43:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/114523/barrick-gold-scraps-co-president-model-114523.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick sells 50% of its statke in Papu New Guinea gold mine ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/107368/barrick-sells-50-of-its-statke-in-papu-new-guinea-gold-mine-107368.html

Shares of Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX) were trading about 3.4 percent lower today, after the company announced has sold 50% of its stake in the Porgera joint venture that operates a gold mine in Papua New Guinea to China’s Zijin Mining Group.

Barrick, the world’s largest gold producer and 95% owner of the Porgera through the company Barrick Niugini, obtained US$298 million in cash for its stake. The government of the Papuan province of Enga and local owners hold the remaining 5%.

“Our partnership with Zijin is the first step in a long-term strategic relationship with one of China's leading mining companies—a multi-faceted partnership that will provide significant opportunities to work together on an ongoing basis as we continue to create value for our respective owners," said Barrick’s chairman John Thornton in a statement.

In 2014, the mine yielded 493,000 ounces of gold.

Barrick’s sale is part of a plan to divest a dozen of what it considers as secondary assets, such that it can operate on a leaner basis, preserving only the richest and most profitable deposits, concentrating its activity in the Americas.

The group also intends to use the proceeds of this sale to reduce debt, which exceeds US$20 billion. Yesterday, Barrick said it sold another gold mine in Australia to a local company for US$550 million.

Barrick, which suffered consecutive losses in 2013 and 2014 with respective losses of 10.4 and 2.9 billion USD, is pursuing a US$3 billion debt reduction strategy this year.

Barrick also signed a long term strategic cooperation agreement with Zijin Mining, which could see the two participate in other mining projects, according to a joint statement.
 
Under the agreement, Barrick and Zijin will each appoint three directors to the board of Barrick Niugini, which holds 95% of the Porgera Joint Venture. One party will appoint the general manager of the mine while the other will name his deputy and the chairman of the board.

Greg Walker, Porgera’s current and Barrick appointed director, will remain in office, but it is understood that Zijin’s role in Porgera will expand as its managers gain experience in Papua New Guinea.

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Tue, 26 May 2015 13:01:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/107368/barrick-sells-50-of-its-statke-in-papu-new-guinea-gold-mine-107368.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold to sell Cowal mine for $550 mln to Evolution Mining ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/107300/barrick-gold-to-sell-cowal-mine-for-550-mln-to-evolution-mining-107300.html Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX), the world's top gold producer, has agreed to sell its Cowal mine to Evolution Mining for $550 million in a deal that will turn Evolution into Australia's second largest producer of the precious metal. Shares gained.

The Toronto-based gold miner said in a statement yesterday that it will use the money from the sale to pay down debt. 

Barrick has been looking to sell non-core assets as it streamlines its operations and cuts costs.It said in February that it plans to reduce net debt by at least $3 billion this year, partly by selling Cowal and the Porgera joint-venture in Papua New Guinea. 

Last month, Barrick said it began a process to sell a stake in its Zaldivar copper mine in Chile.

“The sale of Cowal is consistent with the strategy we have outlined to create long-term value for our owners, making a significant contribution to our debt reduction target while further focusing the geographic footprint of our portfolio,” said Barrick Co-President Kelvin Dushnisky.

Barrick said the divestment of Cowal will also contribute to reduced general and administrative costs as Barrick completes the closure of its office in Perth, Australia. 

The deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2015.

Shares were up 0.3 percent at C$15.16 at 10:41 a.m. in Toronto. The stock has gained 21 percent this year.

Barrick has sold six mines for a total of US$1.3 billion since 2012, five of which are in Australia, the largest gold producing nation after China. Its 50% stake in the Kalgoorlie Super Pit operation is Barrick’s only remaining Australian gold-mining interest.

Evolution Mining was created in late 2011 as a mid-tier Australian gold producer through a merger of Catalpa Resources and Conquest Mining. 

Evolution currently operates five gold and silver mines in Queensland and Western Australia. For the year ended June 30, 2014 the company produced approximately 428,000 gold equivalent ounces.

Credit Suisse is acting as financial advisor to Barrick. Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP and Herbert Smith Freehills LLP are acting as legal counsel to Barrick.

 

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Mon, 25 May 2015 11:07:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/107300/barrick-gold-to-sell-cowal-mine-for-550-mln-to-evolution-mining-107300.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick to sell Zaldivar and other major assets after weaker quarterly results ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/106456/barrick-to-sell-zaldivar-and-other-major-assets-after-weaker-quarterly-results-61218.html

Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX) said it would sell its stake in the Zaldivar copper mine in Chile's Antofagasta Region, one of the two copper assets it owns in the country. The decision comes as the world’s number one gold producer plans to cut debt by at least US$3 billion this year.

Barrick had recently announced the start of the process to sell its Cowal mine in Australia and JV Porgera in Papua New Guinea.

"Zaldivar maintains a solid and consistent performance in the best jurisdiction in the world for mining of copper. The potential buyers have expressed significant interest in acquiring the mine," said Barrick in a statement.

According to the Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco), Zaldivar produced 100.600 tonnes of copper in 2014.

The Toronto based company said that the sale of Zaldivar is just one of several initiatives that the company is considering in an effort to improve the balance sheet after the company announced quarterly results that fell well short of expectations, as net profit fell by 38% compared to the same period a year ago.

The gold giant said it earned US$57 million or 5 cents per share, half of analysts’ expectations of 10 cents, in the first quarter 2015 against 88 million or 20 cents per share in the same period last year.

Revenues continued to slide, dropping 15% for the quarter to US$2.245 billion from the US$2.647 billion achieved a year earlier.

Barrick has felt the effects of the drop in gold prices, which are some 6% lower than a year ago (US$1218/oz. on average).

Sales volumes meanwhile fell by 14.5% in one year, to 1.385 million ounces as gold is overpowered in its usual safe haven role by a strengthening US economy and looming interest rate hike. Also, production volume was 12.5% ​​lower than a year ago.

Reiterating its determination to reduce operating costs by 20% for the second half 2015, Barrick said it has already achieved  US$200 million in savings on its planned capital expenditures for 2015.

At the same time, the Canadian company was excited about the discovery of a new deposit in Alturas, Chilean Andes, where the company plans to continue exploratory drilling until the end of May. So far, the firm has completed 35 holes, uncovering significant mineralization.

Barrick also announced that it is a plan to extend the life of Lagunas Norte, in order to exploit the mineral refractory oxide deposit under the current mine. The Canadian company will start a feasibility study for the project.

In the past six months several companies have sold or announced the sale of some of their Chilean assets in Chile. Freeport McMoRan sold its Candelaria mine to Lundin Mining, while Anglo American is considering disposing of its assets in Mantos Blancos and Mantoverde.

Barrick still considers the core of growth strategy to rely on its five mines in the Americas, since 60% of its production comes from Veladero (Argentina), Lagunas Norte (Peru), Pueblo Viejo (Dominican Republic) and Cortez and Goldstrike (Nevada).

While Barrick reaffirmed that his focus is on gold, also he announced that it has signed a five year agreement with Quantum Pacific Exploration (QPX) to explore copper deposits in northern Chile. The companies will contribute US$30 million each to the project.

 

 

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Wed, 29 Apr 2015 10:17:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/106456/barrick-to-sell-zaldivar-and-other-major-assets-after-weaker-quarterly-results-61218.html
<![CDATA[News - Chilean court says Barrick’s Pascua Lama project has not damaged glaciers ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/106068/chilean-court-says-barricks-pascua-lama-project-has-not-damaged-glaciers-60644.html A Chilean Court has ruled that Canadian miner Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX) did not damage the glaciers located in the area of the Pascua-Lama gold project.

Barrick’s bi-national mine, burrowed in the Andes between Argentina and Chile, has been left idle because of a Chilean Court order until it completes water management work that was not performed as outlined in the conditions of a mining permit.

"We are pleased that the court has confirmed what the technical and scientific evidence demonstrates, that these ice bodies have not been damaged by activities at the Pascua-Lama project," said Barrick's Executive Director for Chile, Eduardo Flores, in a statement released Monday.

The lawsuit was filed in 2012 by residents of the area close to the project and the environmental group OLCA, alleging the risk of a negative impact on the Toro 1, Toro 2 and Esperanza glaciers.

The ‘Second Environmental Court of Santiago’, in Chile, has now ruled that "no damage was done to the glaciers. They have evolved in a similar manner to the ice bodies identified as a reference to monitor the project."

Environmental groups have expressed fears over the potential and unpredictable effects of the project’s mining activity in the glaciers, also denouncing a reduction in water availability for the population. Barrick and its partners have argued that the impact would be small.

The glaciers have to be displaced in order to allow for mining activities. This would involve the use of 27 metric tons of cyanide a day and 33 million litres of water per day to extract gold, threatening to the region’s agriculture and water supply. Barrick had also not hidden the fact that it would use some 38 metric tons of explosives a day to blast mountain tops into rocks.

Residents of the area have opposed the project, also claiming that the firm did not properly consult indigenous communities, which are guaranteed rights by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Barrick said in a statement that "the Pascua-Lama team has focused on resolving outstanding legal and regulatory barriers" and is committed to working with local communities to advance the project.

"Preserving and protecting glaciers from harm is essential to the work we do every day at Pascua-Lama…That is why Barrick worked with leading independent experts and glaciologists to develop and implement one of the most rigorous glacier monitoring programs anywhere in the world," said Flores.

The resolution of the dispute comes just months after Chile’s environment regulator (SMA) warned in January that it would re-launch a sanction process against the Pascua Lama project, aimed at revoking its mining license.

The SMA, meanwhile, said last week that it would continue to review Barrick’s compliance with the mitigation measures it has been ordered to adopt.

The US$8.5 billion Pascua-Lama project is one of Barrick’s most important and riskiest projects and it was supposed to start operations in 2014. The open pit mining asset is rich in gold, silver, copper and other minerals.

The project is located in the southern reaches of the Atacama Desert, overlapping the border across the Andes between Chile and Argentina at an altitude of over 4,500 metres.

Barrick has estimated that Pascua-Lama contains 17 million ounces of gold and 635 million ounces of silver.

The Pascua Lama gold project was closed in 2013 for environmental breaches on the Chilean side, and the fate of the mega project was put on hold, with the company suffering a US$5.1 billion writedown. Barrick said its team is focused on resolving the outstanding legal and regulatory hurdles at the project, completing a new plan to optimize remaining construction activities and minimize ongoing costs.

The mining minister of Argentina’s San Juan province has indicated that China’s Zijin Mining is interested in the Pascua project after visiting the mine site several times.

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Wed, 25 Mar 2015 09:48:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/106068/chilean-court-says-barricks-pascua-lama-project-has-not-damaged-glaciers-60644.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick reports $2.8 bln writedown, though adjusted profit beats; to sell two mines ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/105563/barrick-reports-28-bln-writedown-though-adjusted-profit-beats-to-sell-two-mines-59958.html Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) (TSE:ABX) has reported a multi billion-dollar net loss in the fourth quarter, pointing to massive impairment charges on mine projects in Africa and Chile, but adjusted earnings beat expectations.

Canada's second-largest gold miner by market capitalization is also putting its Porgera and Cowal operations up for sale and setting a major debt reduction target for 2015 as the company starts to implement a long-discussed strategy to become leaner and less centralized.

The Toronto-based company’s U.S.-listed shares advanced as much as 3.1 percent in New York trading today. The stock has lost 35 percent over the past six months, but is up 14 percent so far this year.

Net loss was $2.85 billion, or $2.45 per share, in the October-to-December quarter,  compared a net loss of $2.83 billion, or $2.61 billion, Barrick said in a statement late yesterday.

The quarterly loss reflected the impact of booking $2.8 billion in after-tax impairment charges related mostly to its Lumwana mine in Zambia and its Cerro Casale project in Chile.

Some $930 million of the impairment charge related to Lumwana, where Barrick plans to suspend operations following legislation that raises the royalty rate to a level the company says makes the mine uneconomic.

Another $778 million was related to Cerro Casale.

Barrick posted stronger-than-estimated adjusted earnings of $174 million, or $0.15 per share. Analysts predicted $0.136 per share, according to Capital IQ data.

Revenue fell to $2.51 billion from $2.94 billion year-over-year as the company sold fewer ounces of gold -- 1.57 million compared with 1.83 million -- at an average realized price of $1,204 per ounce compared with $1,272 in the 2013 quarter.

Gold futures averaged $1,202 an ounce in the quarter on the Comex in New York, 5.6 percent less than a year earlier.

Moving forward, Barrick said it expects to produce 6.2 million to 6.6 million ounces of gold in 2015 at all-in sustaining costs of between $860 and $895 per ounce. In 2014, Barrick produced 6.25 million ounces of gold at all-in sustaining costs of $864 per ounce.

Barrick's in-the-ground gold reserves fell to 93 million ounces at end-2014 from 104.1 million a year ago.

Describing its strategy as going "back to the future," Barrick said it was returning to its roots of being lean, nimble and entrepreneurial to an environment where operational heads had greater autonomy and responsibility.

Barrick said it will sell its Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea and its Cowal mine in Australia to help reduce net debt by at least $3 billion by year-end.

It also said it was reducing the size of its Toronto head office by close to half from 260 positions in 2014 to 140 in 2015, so lowering its administration costs. Net debt stood at $10.4 billion at the end of 2014, Bloomberg reported, citing a report on its website.

The announcement included details on how 35 high-level employees will be compensated.

In the past 10 months, several key positions at Barrick, including the chief executive and the miner's corporate development team, have been eliminated.

Barrick also said it will defer, cancel or sell projects that do not return at least 15 percent on invested capital.

Barrick Gold also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.05 per share, payable on March 16 to stockholders of record on February 27. The ex-dividend date is February 25.

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Thu, 19 Feb 2015 09:03:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/105563/barrick-reports-28-bln-writedown-though-adjusted-profit-beats-to-sell-two-mines-59958.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold to suspend Zambian copper mine after royalty hike ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/104759/barrick-gold-to-suspend-zambian-copper-mine-after-royalty-hike-58895.html Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX), the world’s biggest producer of the metal, said it will take steps to stop production at its Zambian operation after the southern African country increased mining royalties.

The new tax plan, expected to go into effect on Jan. 1, eliminates corporate income tax, but imposes a 20 percent gross royalty on revenue without considering profitability, the Toronto-based company said in a statement today. The previous rate was 6 percent.

“The introduction of this royalty has left us with no choice but to initiate the process of suspending operations at Lumwana. Despite the progress we have made to reduce costs and improve efficiency at the mine, the economics of an operation such as Lumwana cannot support a 20 percent gross royalty," Kelvin Dushnisky, the company's co-president said in the statement.

The company’s U.S.-listed shares were up 3.1 percent at $11.08 at 9:34 a.m. in New York.

Barrick said major workforce cuts are planned, beginning in March, following the legally required notice period. The transition to care and maintenance will be completed in the second quarter of 2015.

Parliament in Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, approved Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda’s 2015 budget proposals, which will replace corporate income tax on mines with increased royalties.

In the absence of a modification to the new royalty plan, Barrick said it expects to record an impairment charge related to Lumwana in the fourth quarter of 2014. Lumwana's current net carrying value is about $1 billion.

Barrick said in October it would consider suspending Lumwana if the Zambian government didn’t change the proposed new tax system because it would threaten the operation’s viability.

The gold miner acquired Lumwana when it bought Equinox Minerals in 2011. The mine has disappointed, prompting a $3 billion writedown after costs were higher than expected.

The mine supports nearly 4,000 direct jobs in the area and produced some 138 million pounds of copper in the first nine months of 2014, Barrick said.

Like other miners, the company has been under pressure in recent years to cut costs and focus on more-profitable projects amid lower commodity prices and after building up large debts buying assets during the boom years.

China is the world’s largest consumer of copper, and signs that its growth is slowing have weighed on copper prices all year.

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Thu, 18 Dec 2014 09:42:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/104759/barrick-gold-to-suspend-zambian-copper-mine-after-royalty-hike-58895.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick hit by lower metal prices, but Q3 adjusted profit tops views ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/103920/barrick-hit-by-lower-metal-prices-but-q3-adjusted-profit-tops-views-57775.html Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX)(TSE:ABX) reported a drop in third quarter profit on Thursday as the gold miner continued to suffer from lower metals prices and sales volumes, though adjusted earnings beat analysts' estimates.

The world's largest gold miner said it may also need to halt production at its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia if the government goes ahead with a plan to increase royalties.

The Toronto-based company reported net earnings of $125 million, or 11 cents per diluted share, compared to $172 million, or 17 cents per share, in the same period of 2013. On an adjusted basis, excluding unrealized losses tied to foreign exchange and other items, earnings were 19 cents per share, topping the Thomson Reuters mean estimate of 17 cents.

Revenues fell to $2.6 billion from $2.99 billion in the year-ago period.

Gold production was 1.65 million ounces in the latest quarter, down from 1.85 million in the third quarter of 2013, as its Cortez mine in Nevada was hit by lower grades. The average realized gold price came to $1,285 an ounce, lower than the $1,323 an ounce last year.

Barrick said all-in sustaining costs, an industry-wide metric, improved, however, to $834 per ounce from $914 per gold ounce a year earlier.

It also produced 131 million pounds of copper, down from 139 million. The average realized copper price fell to $3.09 per pound from $3.40 per pound.

The company said its solid production and lower than expected costs drove its second reduction to its annual all-in sustaining cost guidance for 2014. It now expects all-in costs of $880 to $920 an ounce, compared to its prior outlook of $900 to $940 an ounce. 

Its gold production forecast for the full year was narrowed to between 6.1 to 6.4 million ounces, from 6.0 to 6.5 million ounces previously. It lifted its copper output guidance, however, to between 440 and 460 million pounds, from 410 to 440 pounds previously, mainly because of an earlier-than-expected restart of operations at Lumwana in July.

"We are focused on the best assets in the best regions, where we see the most potential to create value for shareholders, areas where we have already established distinctive geological and technical knowledge and strong partnerships," said co-president of Barrick, Kevin Dushnisky, who took over in July together with co-president Jim Gowans.

"We will only invest in mines and development opportunities that can generate strong returns and free cash flow through commodity cycles."

As a result, Barrick said that opportunities at or near existing operations will be a first priority, minimizing risk and maximizing returns, with the company focusing its exploration and growth efforts in Nevada. Approximately 50% of its 2014 exploration budget is allocated to Nevada, with a large majority to go towards its Goldrush project.

At its Lumwana copper mine in Africa, the gold miner is dealing with a proposed change to Zambia's mining tax regime, which would replace the current corporate income tax and variable profit tax with a 20 percent royalty, which if approved, would take effect in January 2015. The company said this considerable hike from the 6 percent royalty it is currently paying would "challenge the economic viability of the mine."

Its Pascua-Lama project is still on care and maintenance, with a decision to re-start development depending on improved economics and more certainty on legal and permitting matters. The company says it is in the final stages of preliminary engineering for the permanent water management system and is discussing the permitting requirements necessary to obtain approval for construction with Chilean regulators.

Shares of Barrick fell 2.8 percent to C$13.94 in Toronto as of 10:41am ET on Thursday, stretching year-to-date losses to nearly 26 percent.

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Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:00:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/103920/barrick-hit-by-lower-metal-prices-but-q3-adjusted-profit-tops-views-57775.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick shares drop on weaker Q2 results as new management ushered in ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/102591/barrick-shares-drop-on-weaker-q2-results-as-new-management-ushered-in-55836.html Barrick Gold's (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX) shares were falling on Thursday after the world's largest gold producer was still showing a loss in its second quarter on lower gold and copper prices as well as reduced sales volumes and weaker-than-expected production.

For the three months to June 30, Barrick, which reports in US currency, posted a net loss of $269 million, or 23 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $8.56 billion, or $8.04 per share, in the corresponding period of 2013, when markets sustained a sharp drop to gold prices and Barrick was hit by a massive write down on its shelved Pascua Lama project.

The company said the latest period includes, among other items, a $514 million writedown of the Jabal Sayid copper project in Saudi Arabia, for which it recently signed a deal to form a 50-50 joint venture with Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden) to operate the property. Under the deal, Ma'aden has agreed to pay $210 million for its stake in the venture.

On an adjusted basis, the gold miner reported a net profit of 14 cents per share, down from 66 cents per share in the year-ago period, attributed to lower gold and copper prices as well as lower year-over-year sales volumes. 

It sold 1.5 million gold ounces in the second quarter, at an average realized price of $1,289 an ounce, compared with 1.8 million ounces a year earlier, at an average price of $1,411 per ounce. It produced 1.49 million gold ounces, and 67 million pounds of copper. 

The company improved its cost profile for gold, however, lowering its all-in sustaining costs to $865 an ounce, down from $910 an ounce in the second quarter of 2013.

"Second quarter all-in sustaining costs of $865 per ounce in a lower production quarter clearly demonstrate our ongoing and relentless focus on company-wide cost management," said outgoing president and CEO, Jamie Sokalsky, who is leaving his post in September as part of a new executive management structure Barrick believes will allow it to meet the demands and challenges of the mining industry in the 21st century.

"The commitment by our mine managers to cost reduction and capital efficiency has allowed us to lower our mid-year operating and capital cost guidance for the second year in a row."

Indeed, the company reduced its 2014 guidance for its all-in sustaining costs per ounce to $900 to $940, from $920 to $980 previously, while its adjusted operating cost guidance was also lowered to between $580 and $630 an ounce, down from between $590 and $640. 

Sokalsky, who has presided over the company in one of the toughest times of its history amid a declining gold price, was appointed to the chief executive role after two decades with the company in various positions, following the sudden exit of Aaron Regent in 2012 for failing to boost Barrick's stock price. 

Since 2012, Barrick has reduced the number of mines in its portfolio from 27 to 19 and divested non-core assets for proceeds in excess of $1.3 billion, the majority of which has been used to reduce its debt load. The company said the ongoing process to further improve its portfolio and reduce costs will focus on the "delta between current and optimal performance", and will determine the quickest way to close this gap.

As part of the new management structure, Kelvin Dushnisky, currently senior executive vice president responsible for corporate and government affairs and chairman of African Barrick Gold plc, and Jim Gowans, who is executive VP and chief operating officer, have been named co-presidents. The two men will be responsible for the company's strategic priorities and operating plans going forward, Barrick said, with Sokalsky's leave effective September 15.

The company also lowered late Wednesday its capital expenditure forecast range by $200 million to $2.2 to $2.5 billion, and maintained its full year gold production outlook of 6.0 to 6.5 million ounces.

Barrick is putting a renewed focus on exploration in Nevada, home to some of its largest operations, including its massive Goldstrike and Cortez mines, and an area seen to hold upside production potential for the company.

Shares of the gold miner fell 2.3 percent to C$19.67 in Toronto on Thursday. Its stock is up 5.4 percent so far this year.

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Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:24:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/102591/barrick-shares-drop-on-weaker-q2-results-as-new-management-ushered-in-55836.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold's CEO Sokalsky to step down amid new management structure ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/102325/barrick-golds-ceo-sokalsky-to-step-down-amid-new-management-structure--55479.html Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX) says CEO Jamie Sokalsky will step down from his role after just two years on the job, as part of a new executive management structure that the world's largest gold producer believes will allow it to "meet the distinct demands and challenges of the mining industry in the 21st century."

Sokalsky, who has presided over the company in one of the toughest times of its history amid a declining gold price, was appointed to the chief executive role after two decades with the company in various roles, following the sudden exit of Aaron Regent in 2012 for failing to boost Barrick's stock price. 

Kelvin Dushnisky, currently senior executive vice president responsible for corporate and government affairs and chairman of African Barrick Gold plc, and Jim Gowans, who is executive VP and chief operating officer, have been named co-presidents. 

As co-presidents, the two men will be responsible for the company's strategic priorities and operating plans going forward, Barrick said, with the new management model reflecting "the interconnected nature" of jointly managing day-to-day mining operations and Barrick's relationships with host governments, local communities and external stakeholders.

"These structural changes put an even greater emphasis on operational excellence, and will accelerate our portfolio optimization and cost reduction initiatives, while fostering a partnership culture both inside the company and externally," said chairman John Thornton.

"The changes we are announcing today build on the operating model that Jamie and his team implemented over the past year, setting the stage for us to move forward as a nimble, more versatile company focused on shareholder returns."

Other changes announced Wednesday include Ammar Al-Joundi's promotion to senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, while Darian Rich will become executive VP of talent management, a new position for Barrick. 

Sokalsky's leave will become effective September 15, but he will help in facilitating a smooth transition in the interim. 

Sokalsky said in the statement that he is particularly proud of what the company has been able to accomplish over the past two years, and that it is now time for Barrick's next phase of development, with the new management structure designed to help the gold miner address the key challenges facing the mining industry. 

Indeed, Barrick has not been alone in facing in what can only be described as a tough year for the mining industry as a whole, amid sharply declining metal prices, softening gold demand and rising costs. 

Faced with weaker gold prices, the gold giant has undergone an enormous transition over the last 12 months, selling non-core mines in an effort to reduce debt and focusing on maximizing cash flow at its existing operations. In April of this year, merger talks with U.S.-based Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE:NEM) were terminated, bringing to an end months-long negotiations to create a global mining giant.

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Wed, 16 Jul 2014 11:18:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/102325/barrick-golds-ceo-sokalsky-to-step-down-amid-new-management-structure--55479.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold Q1 profit beats Wall Street ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/101074/barrick-gold-q1-profit-beats-wall-street-53763.html Barrick Gold Corp. (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX), the world’s largest producer of the metal by both production and market value, reported first-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts' expectations.

Net income declined 90 percent to $88 million, or 8 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, from $847 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier, the Toronto, Ontario-based company said in a statement today. 

A decline in metal prices and lower gold volumes impacted earnings during the quarter.

Adjusted operating cost to produce an ounce of gold in the first quarter was $582 per ounce, compared with $564 a year earlier and the $614 average of three estimates. 

Production slid to 1.59 million ounces of gold from 1.8 million ounces a year earlier, but was slightly above the 1.58 million average of four estimates.

Average realized gold prices retreated to $1,285 an ounce, from $1,629 an ounce a year earlier. Gold prices slumped 28 percent in 2013, the largest annual decline since 1981.

Earnings excluding currency losses and other unusual items were 20 cents per share, squeaking the 19-cent average of 19 estimates tracked by Bloomberg. 

Sales dropped 23 percent to $2.63 billion from $3.4 billion, below the $2.75 billion average estimate.

Barrick's U.S.-listed shares inched up 0.7 percent to $17.80 at 8:13 a.m. in New York. 

Faced with weaker gold prices, Barrick has undergone an enormous transition over the last 12 months, selling non-core mines and focusing on maximizing cash flow at its existing operations. Gold prices are more than 30 percent below their 2011 highs.

“Barrick is a considerably different company today than it was a year ago — leaner, stronger and more financially flexible,” Chief Executive Officer Jamie Sokalsky said in the statement.

"We continue to focus on assets that can generate the most attractive risk-adjusted returns and free cash flow for Barrick and its shareholders, and we are decisively addressing our under-performing operations."

Looking ahead, the company lowered its copper production forecast for the year amid issues at the Lumwana mine in Zambia. Barrick cut forecast to between 410 and 440 million pounds, from between 470 and 500 million pounds.

Barrick's earnings results come just two days after merger talks with U.S.-based Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE:NEM) were terminated, bringing to an end monthslong negotiations to create a global mining giant.

 

 

 

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Wed, 30 Apr 2014 08:53:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/101074/barrick-gold-q1-profit-beats-wall-street-53763.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold reports $2.83 bln Q4 loss; slashes reserves to focus on returns ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/99873/barrick-gold-reports-283-bln-q4-loss-slashes-reserves-to-focus-on-returns-52043.html Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX) shares were higher on Thursday, even as the world's largest producer of the yellow metal posted a fourth quarter net loss of $2.83 billion, as it also cut its reserve estimates and said it anticipated lower production this year. 

The gold miner said the most recent quarter included some $2.82 billion in impairment charges, mainly tied to its Pascua-Lama, Porgera, Veladero and the Australia Pacific gold operations, as well as $176 million in suspension-related costs at the plagued Pascua-Lama project. 

On a per share basis, net loss amounted to $2.61 per share. 

Adjusted net earnings, excluding one-time costs, were $410 million, or 37 cents per share, compared to $1.16 billion, or $1.16 per share, in the same period a year earlier. 

Revenue fell to $2.93 billion from $4.15 billion.

The company, which has lately been focused on divesting assets as it strives to conserve cash in the face of a volatile gold market, also said Thursday that it expects to produce between 6.0 and 6.5 million ounces of gold in 2014, down considerably from nearly 7.2 million ounces produced in 2013. 

It also lowered its gold reserves estimate to 104.1 million ounces at the end of 2013, from 140.2 million ounces at the end of 2012, as it used a new gold price assumption of $1,100 per ounce of gold compared to the $1,500 an ounce price used in the prior estimate. 

"The disciplined capital allocation framework that we adopted in mid-2012 has been at the core of every decision we've made in the last year and half, and has put us in a much stronger position to deal with the challenging gold price environment our industry is facing today," said president and CEO Jamie Sokalsky. 

"Under a comprehensive plan to strengthen the company, we have become a leaner, more agile organization, better protected against further downside price risk and well positioned to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities going forward."

In the last six months, the company has announced a series of divestments, and suspended construction at its Pascua-Lama project temporarily in the fourth quarter. Through these efforts, it reduced 2013 capital and operating costs by about $2 billion, and improved near-term cash flow. 

Last month, Barrick and Goldcorp (TSE:G) announced a deal to sell the Marigold mine in Nevada to Silver Standard Resources Inc. (TSE:SSO) for a total of US$275 million cash, with Barrick to receive US$86 million for its stake in the mine. 

It also announced an agreement to sell Barrick Energy and six other non-core mines for total proceeds of $1.0 billion. This includes the sale in late January of its two mine operations in Western Australia to Northern Star Resources for AU$75 million in cash. This deal is expected to close in March.

The divestments come after a terrible year for the miner, with 2013 marking a period of write-downs, cost overruns and a shareholder rebellion over executive compensation, most notably co-chair John Thornton's multi-million dollar signing bonus amid a cratering gold market. 

Earlier in December, the gold giant announced a series of high level personnel changes, starting with news that founder and chair Peter Munk is to step down from the Toronto-headquartered miner’s board of directors at Barrick's next annual meeting of shareholders. Thornton, Munk’s co-chair since 2012, will attempt to fill the 86-year-old’s shoes, taking over the position of chairman effective as of the same meeting, likely to occur in late April.

"2013 was a tough year for Barrick by any measure, but with a renewed focus on capital discipline and operational excellence across the board, we have reset our focus and revitalized the company's prospects," Sokalsky said. 

Shares of Barrick rose nearly 3% in Toronto on Thursday, to C$21.43. So far this year, the stock has climbed over 14%. 

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Thu, 13 Feb 2014 11:25:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/99873/barrick-gold-reports-283-bln-q4-loss-slashes-reserves-to-focus-on-returns-52043.html
<![CDATA[News - Personnel changes aplenty at beleaguered Barrick as focus shifts to China ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/98882/personnel-changes-aplenty-at-beleaguered-barrick-as-focus-shifts-to-china-50489.html Barrick Gold Corp (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX) has announced a series of high level personnel changes, starting with the news that founder and chair Peter Munk is to step down from the Toronto-headquartered miner’s board of directors next year at the gold giant’s annual meeting of shareholders. 

According to a company statement released after the bell, John Thornton, Munk’s co-chair since 2012, will attempt to fill the 86-year-old’s shoes, taking over the position of chairman effective as of the same meeting, likely to occur in late April.

That meeting is to see two other directors -- Howard Beck and ex-PM Brian Mulroney, both Barrick veterans – step down from the board in favour of new faces.

The board has put forward four names for election as independent directors at the 2014 AGM -- Ned Goodman of Dundee Corp., Nancy Lockhart of Frum Development Group, former University of Toronto president David Naylor and Ernie Thrasher, CEO of Xcoal Energy & Resources – in a move that will change the mix to 10 independent directors and four non-independent directors.

One personnel change noted in the same announcement, set to take effect sooner rather than later, is the appointment of James Gowans, ex- of DeBeers Canada, who takes on the role of executive vice president and chief operating officer in late January of the New Year.

Perhaps more telling is the new pay-for-performance executive compensation plan included as part of the reforms, scheduled to take effect as of next year's AGM. It is a move designed to “further [link] compensation with the long-term interests of shareholders,” according to the company statement released. "[Barrick] has consulted extensively with shareholders in the development of this plan and continues to do so.”

Indeed, shareholder disquiet is certainly at the root of the changes, as the gold giant lurches to the end of an annus horribilis that has seen write-downs, cost overruns and a shareholder rebellion over executive compensation, most notably Thornton’s multi-million dollar signing bonus, amid a cratering gold market.

Falling commodities prices hit the world's leading gold producer hard, as they have done to miners across the industry. Costs that have spiraled out of control over the decade-long bullion boom proved unsustainable in a lower-price environment.

The string of misfortunes has seen a precipitous drop in the value of Barrick shares over the past 12 months. Last month, the company said it was suspending construction at its Pascua-Lama mine that straddles the Chile-Argentina border as a means to conserve cash and reduce capital costs for next year by up to another $1.0 billion. 

Thornton’s plans for the company, discussed in an afternoon press conference in Toronto, seem to indicate a desire to move towards a partnership with China, with the chairman-to-be saying that he would like the miner to build a long-term relationship with the Asian giant.

“What we are interested in is a distinctive, enduring relationship with the Chinese that, if it were the right kind of relationship, should exist in perpetuity,'' he said.

Either way, with speculation on the "when" of Munk's retirement now concluded, it’s the end of an era, and one that the man who took the company from a one-mine junior to a leading producer told a news conference in Toronto was “sweet and sour”, even as he noted his faith in those now leading Barrick.

“To me, what matters is what really is right for Barrick.”

Shares in Barrick ended the day at $16.71 on the TSX on Wednesday afternoon, up 21 cents for the day but well down on the 52 week high of $35.50 hit in January.

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Thu, 05 Dec 2013 08:29:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/98882/personnel-changes-aplenty-at-beleaguered-barrick-as-focus-shifts-to-china-50489.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold shares tumble after $3 bln bought deal to cut debt announced ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/98243/-barrick-gold-shares-tumble-after-3-bln-bought-deal-to-cut-debt-announced-49484.html Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:ABX) (TSE:ABX) shares dropped 6% in early deals Friday, after last night announcing a $3 billion bought deal offering to cut debt, extending losses from the regular trading session on Thursday when the gold miner said it would suspend construction at its Pascua-Lama mine in South America to further slash costs. 

Under an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters led by RBC Capital Markets, Barclays and GMP Securities, the company, the world’s largest producer of gold by volume, will offer up 163.5 million shares priced at $18.35 apiece. 

The company said the underwriters also have an over-allotment option, allowing them to purchase up to an additional 24.5 million shares for total proceeds of $3.45 billion.

The net proceeds from the offering will be approximately $2.9 billion, Barrick said in a statement released late Thursday. 

The gold producer is planning to use $1.1 billion of the net proceeds to redeem the outstanding $700 million worth of 1.75% notes due in 2014, and a further $350 million in 4.875% notes, also due next year. 

The company is also planning a cash tender offer for various outstanding debt securities of Barrick and its subsidiaries, using about $1.5 billion of its net proceeds to purchase notes in the proposed tender offer.

The balance of the new funds will be used to further strengthen Barrick's balance sheet, the company said, which could include further debt reductions and ongoing operating and capital expenditures at its portfolio of mines.

Barrick's shares dropped another 6% Friday in Toronto to $19.10 after shedding the same on Thursday following the company saying it is suspending construction at its Pascua-Lama mine that straddles the Chile-Argentina border as a means to conserve cash and reduce capital costs for next year by up to another $1.0 billion. The Pascua-Lama news overshadowed Barrick's solid quarterly results, which still revealed cash costs among the lowest in the industry at $916 per ounce in the third quarter. 

The company is also targeting $500 million of additional annual savings related to job reductions from a company-wide review launched earlier this  year -- now largely complete -- and through a new operating model and a program to reduce procurement costs. 

The troubled project on the border between Chile and Argentina was initially expected to be producing gold and silver this year, but it suffered legal setbacks as it has long been the subject of concerns relating to its proximity to glaciers and to the effects of inadequate water safety on downstream communities. In August, the gold miner took a $5.1-billion writedown on the project as part of an $8.7-billion impairment charge.

The gold producer, which has lost roughly 45% of its share price year-to-date, has been mired by shareholder complaints and various charges this year, as miners struggle to remain profitable amid a declining gold price and a higher cost environment. Since its 2013 annual meeting earlier this year, the company said its directors have been in discussions with its institutional investors and is in the midst of addressing issues that had been raised, including with Barrick's executive compensation scheme and a "rejuvenation of the board". 

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Fri, 01 Nov 2013 10:03:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/98243/-barrick-gold-shares-tumble-after-3-bln-bought-deal-to-cut-debt-announced-49484.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick suspends Pascua Lama to cut back on more costs amid solid quarterly report ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/98213/barrick-suspends-pascua-lama-to-cut-back-on-more-costs-amid-solid-quarterly-report-49442.html Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX)(TSE:ABX) is suspending construction at its Pascua-Lama mine that straddles the Chile-Argentina border as a means to conserve cash and reduce capital costs for next year by up to another $1.0 billion, as the price of its chief commodity is set to snap 12 years of gains in 2013. 

The Pascua-Lama news overshadowed Barrick's solid quarterly results, which still reveal cash costs among the lowest in the industry. "Significant cost and operational improvements achieved this year, including previously announced reductions of $2.0 billion from budgeted 2013 capital and costs, have translated into another quarter of strong results," said Barrick's president and CEO, Jamie Sokalsky, in a statement Thursday announcing its third quarter financials. 

"We continue to make excellent progress at Lumwana and are evaluating a number of other opportunities to improve performance further."

The company, the world’s largest producer of gold by volume, is also targeting $500 million of additional annual savings related to job reductions from a company-wide review launched earlier this  year -- now largely complete -- and through a new operating model and a program to reduce procurement costs. 

"The suspension of Pascua-Lama will also significantly improve our near term cash flows," the chief executive said, saying the decision to temporarily suspend construction, apart from those activities required for environmental protection and regulatory compliance, will postpone and reduce near-term cash outlays. The decision to restart will depend on improved project economics, Barrick added, such as go-forward costs, metal price outlook and reduced uncertainty tied to legal and other regulatory concerns.

The troubled project on the border between Chile and Argentina was initially expected to be producing gold and silver this year, but it suffered legal setbacks as it has long been the subject of concerns relating to its proximity to glaciers and to the effects of inadequate water safety on downstream communities. In August, the gold miner took a $5.1-billion writedown on the project as part of an $8.7-billion impairment charge.

For the third quarter that ended September 30, net earnings were $0.17 billion, or 17 cents per share, compared to $0.65 billion, or 65 cents per share, a year ago. 

Adjusted for one-time items such as $280 million in income tax expense at its Pueblo Viejo project and $40 million in unrealized foreign exchange losses, profit came to $0.58 billion, or 58 cents per share, down from $0.88 billion, or 88 cents per share, in the same period last year. 

The company said profit was impacted by lower realized gold and copper prices as well as higher interest and income tax expenses, which were partially offset by higher copper sales. 

Revenue fell to $2.99 billion from $3.40 billion, while adjusted operating cash flow -- a key metric in the mining industry that indicates a company's ability to fund future operations -- fell to $1.3 billion from $1.4 billion in the same period of 2012. 

Barrick produced 1.85 million ounces of gold, at all-in sustaining costs of $916 per ounce in the third quarter, better than the 1.78 million ounces at all-in costs of $1,010 per ounce a year earlier. It produced 139 million pounds of copper, up from 112 million pounds, while copper costs were $2.15 per pound, lower than the $3.05 per pound in the third quarter of 2012. Copper sales surged to 135 million pounds, from 84 million pounds a year ago.

Commodity prices were a drag, however, as the average realized gold price dropped from $1,655 an ounce to $1,323 an ounce, while the average realized copper price declined to $3.40 a pound from $3.52. 

At the end of the quarter, Barrick had cash and equivalents of $2.3 billion, and $1.3 billion of cumulative debt maturing through to the end of 2015. 

Sokalsky said that as a result of the company's previous decision to slow down and re-sequence construction at Pascua-Lama, "which resulted in significant demobilization over the last few months", it is in a much better position to implement the temporary suspension quickly and efficiently. 

Barrick said Thursday that full year gold output is now expected at the low end of its initial 7.0 to 7.4 million ounce range, due to the sale of its Yilgarn South mines, with all-in costs still anticipated within $900 to $975 an ounce. However, due to a turnaround at its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia that was bought as part of its Equinox purchase in 2011 and left Barrick with excess debt, the company increased its full year copper production forecast to a range of 520 to 550 million pounds, while cash cost estimates were lowered to $2.40 to $2.60 a pound.

The gold producer, which has lost roughly 40% of its share price year-to-date, has been mired by shareholder complaints and various charges this year, as miners struggle to remain profitable amid a declining gold price and a higher cost environment. Since its 2013 annual meeting earlier this year, the company said its directors have been in discussions with its institutional investors and is in the midst of addressing issues that had been raised, including with Barrick's executive compensation scheme and a "rejuvenation of the board". 

The company also told investors it continues to actively pursue "other portfolio optimization opportunities, including the divestiture of non-core assets."

Shares declined more than 3.1% in early deals Thursday, to $20.88 in Toronto.

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Thu, 31 Oct 2013 09:46:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/98213/barrick-suspends-pascua-lama-to-cut-back-on-more-costs-amid-solid-quarterly-report-49442.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick "can’t depend on higher prices to manage our business”: CEO to shareholders ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/96644/barrick-cant-depend-on-higher-prices-to-manage-our-business-ceo-to-shareholders-46730.html “We can’t depend on higher prices to manage our business”, said Barrick Gold Corporation (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX) president and CEO Jamie Sokalsky on a conference call with investors, analysts and media held the morning of the release of the gold giant’s figures for the second quarter that saw a whopping $8.6 billion loss on the back of plummeting metal prices, and that message – along with talk of cost-cutting and efficiencies across the company's operations -- dominated the call.

Sokalsky reiterated that he remained bullish on the long-term prospects for the company’s metals, saying that the future of Barrick was to concentrate on “quality not quantity.”

The CEO, appointed to his post just over a year ago, promised that the mining major would adopt the stance that “returns will drive production, product won’t drive returns,” and to that end, the miner was reviewing all its projects in search of efficiencies.

He said the company was “taking action” in the face of the disastrous quarterly results precipitated by a vertiginous drop in metal prices for its main commodity, including measures such as upping cut-off grades in some instances, and shortening the life of certain mines in others.

Sokalsky spoke of a program of evaluation that had been underway across the giant’s portfolio “for months” that included the re-figuring of internal calculations predicated at a market price of $1,100 per ounce for the company’s main commodity -- $600 lower than the figure used in earlier years -- saying this work had allowed for a “quick and decisive” response to the precipitous price drops experienced by precious metals in the past few months.

The chief emphasized that these efforts were not one-offs, but were set to continue even if prices were to go back up, saying the measures would “put us in a better position should prices decline further.”

“We’re managing our business to maximize cash flow in a lower price environment.”

Sokalsky said the giant was prepared to make "the tough decisions” and raised the possibility of “suspending, closing and divesting” underperforming assets, emphasizing that even money-making mines could benefit from optimization.

“Just because a mine is profitable doesn’t mean it can’t be optimized; were looking at every mine and have been for months now.”  He advised that the giant intends to re-examine mines that return a figure of more than $1,000 per ounce for the metric of all-in-sustaining costs per ounce, with the intention of either optimizing operations, changing mine plans or taking the step of suspending, closing or divesting the project altogether.

“Our goal is to reduce the number of mines in our portfolio that [book costs] above $1,000 per ounce.”

Sokalsky reiterated the company’s “disappointment” in the write downs, but said “we are confident our assets will generate more value over time than the current values applied.”

On the question of Pascua-Lama and the wisdom of proceeding with the trouble-plagued and extremely expensive project, Sokalsky allowed that while it was true the massive high-altitude project would not be green lit were it to come up for approval in the current price environment, the project was “halfway through development and the decision to suspend is different from the decision to start construction.” He also re-iterated the long-term value of the project, recent write downs notwithstanding.

“Pascua Lama will be a world-class mine; a significant cash generator and a core mine for Barrick; there aren’t many mines of this quality in the world. At 25 years, its mine life far surpasses the average life of metal mines. I’m confident this will be a high value mine for Barrick.”

Sokalsky also said that the quarter just ended proved the companies fundamentals were “strong”, emphasizing the reductions in capex and the impact of other cost cutting measures.

Costs of production for the metal in the quarter just ended were reported as coming in at $552 for adjusted operating costs per ounce, below the guidance figure of $575 to $615, or $919 per ounce on an all-in sustaining basis, within the current guidance of $900 to $975 per ounce. The Canadian giant is responding to the rout in gold prices and various additional troubles with a program of cost cutting and a reduced dividend of a nickel per quarter, down from 20 cents.

Shares in Barrick were trading up on the Toronto Stock Exchange Thursday, as the company's quarterly results exceeded analysts' estimates despite its breathtaking loss, with 52 cents being added to previous close to hit $17.53 at 11:57 am EST, also on the back of an uptick in gold prices.

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Thu, 01 Aug 2013 12:03:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/96644/barrick-cant-depend-on-higher-prices-to-manage-our-business-ceo-to-shareholders-46730.html
<![CDATA[News - Struggling giants - Barrick, Kinross, Yamana - post a sea of red as gold price bites ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/96633/struggling-giants-barrick-kinross-yamana-post-a-sea-of-red-as-gold-price-bites-46710.html The most recent charge has effectively wiped out any hope of profit for the second quarter, which would have come to $663 million for earnings per share of 66 cents, compared to $821 million or 82 cents in the year ago period, instead recording a loss of $8.6 billion, corresponding to a breathtaking loss of $8.55 per share.
Shareholders had been bracing themselves, even following the revelation in June that troubled Pascua-Lama project was set to be the author of impairment to the tune of $5 billion, and indeed the write downs are attributable mainly to Pascua-Lama, which booked a $5.1 billion charge. As well, $1.3 billion in impairments were booked to smaller assets, while the company also took a hit from a $0.5 billion loss on the sale earlier in the summer of Barrick Energy, which was disclosed at the time, and $2.3 billion in goodwill impairments.
Chief among the causes of the write downs is the internal readjustments contingent on the price of gold. The troubled giant altered the gold prices on which much of its figuring was predicated to $1,300 an ounce for gold, close to the price at which the yellow metal currently trades since dropping almost 20 per cent from its 2013 high hit in January.
The miner also reported operating cash flow of $896 million and adjusted operating cash flow of $804 million. The major reported production of 1,811 ounces for the quarter, up on the year earlier total of 1,742.
Costs of production for the metal were reported as coming in at $552 for adjusted operating costs per ounce, below the guidance figure of $575 to $615, or $919 per ounce on an all-in sustaining basis, within the current guidance of $900 to $975 per ounce.
The Canadian giant is responding to the rout in gold prices and various additional troubles with a program of cost cutting and a reduced dividend of a nickel per quarter, down from 20 cents.
President and CEO Jamie Sokalsky addressed the campaign to reduce costs in his comments released with the figures, saying of the cost cutting efforts: “Over the past year, we have taken and are continuing to take a series of steps to reduce costs as part of our disciplined capital allocation framework, which allowed us to respond quickly to the new metal price environment.
"We have reduced 2013 budgeted capital and costs by about $2.0 billion which has offset the cash flow impact of the drop in gold and copper prices that has occurred this year. We have reduced all-in sustaining cost guidance by about $100 per ounce this year from levels which are the lowest of our peers. The bulk of our expected 2013 gold production is at all-in sustaining costs well below current spot levels, and for those operations that are not generating positive cash flow, we will change mine plans, suspend, close or divest them.”
Changes to internal figuring dependent on the price of gold took a bite out of Kinross Gold Corp. (TSE:K) (NYSE:KGC) too, with the gold giant announcing in its quarterly results released Wednesday after the bell, a loss of $2.5 billion or $2.17 per share on the back of a $2.4 billion impairment charge. With the charge stripped out, adjusted net earnings came to $119.5 million, or 10 cents per share, compared with $156.8 million, or 14 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2012.
The most recent installment of write downs comes in a year that has already seen a series of impairment charges for the company, bringing the total written off for the year to $8 billion. The company took the step of cancelling the next due dividend and posited the option of doing so for the foreseeable future.
Also of note, for a company bent on cost savings, was the announcement that it would delay the decision on whether to pull the trigger on a new mill at one of its projects.
The miner reported adjusted operating cash flow of $256.7 million, or 22 cents per share, compared to $268.0 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago. Production for the quarter came to 655,381 gold equivalent ounces compared to 632,772 ounces a year ago.
Costs of production for the quarter came in at $737 per ounce, compared to the $724 per ounce recorded a year ago, with all-in sustaining costs of $1,072 per ounce sold compared with $970 per ounce a year ago.
Yamana Gold Inc. (TSE:YRI) (NYSE:AUY), which also reported the same night as Kinross, posted a net loss of $7.9 million for a loss of a penny per basic and diluted share, with adjusted figures of $50.2 million for 7 cents per basic and diluted earnings per share.
The miner reported production of 295,545 gold equivalent ounces at all-in sustaining costs of $950 per gold equivalent ounce. Cash flows from operations came to $150.9 million.
Unlike the others, Centerra Gold (TSE:CG), which also posted late Wednesday, swung to profit for the quarter on the back of higher production at its flagship mine, which served to offset the dive taken by the yellow metal to post net income of $1.6 million, for earnings of a penny a share, well up from the loss of $48.9 million or 21 cents per share recorded a year ago.
The company reported production for the quarter of 99,426 ounces, compared to just under 52,500 ounces the year before, a surge of almost 90 per cent that did much to offset the plummet in the price of gold.
Centerra's latest results, did, however, include expenses of $2.8 million primarily made up of a charge of $2.2 million for the write-off of certain infrastructure assets at Kumtor, which could not be relocated as a result of the accelerated movement of the Central Valley Waste Dump. 
In light of the dramatic drop in gold prices, the company has also conducted reviews of its operating costs and capital expenditures and implemented measures to reduce spending, saying that it believes it can continue to generate cash at the lower gold prices reached in June. Centerra is forecasting all-in cash costs, including all operating cash costs, capital and taxes, to be between $1,120 and $1,230 per ounce for the year.
In the past two months alone, gold companies have taken $21 billion in charges. 
Shares of Barrick, Kinross and Centerra were all running higher in early deals Thursday, amid an increase in gold prices, while shares of Yamana were down were down more than 3 per cent in Toronto, to $10.40.  ]]>
Thu, 01 Aug 2013 09:35:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/96633/struggling-giants-barrick-kinross-yamana-post-a-sea-of-red-as-gold-price-bites-46710.html
<![CDATA[News - African Barrick takes $700 mln charge as gold’s devaluation bites; $185 mln in cuts promised ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/96618/african-barrick-takes-700-mln-charge-as-golds-devaluation-bites-185-mln-in-cuts-promised-46685.html African Barrick Gold (LON:ABG) has taken a $727 million post-tax charge stemming from a reduction in the value of its mines, according to figures for the first half of the year released Tuesday after the bell North American time, with a reported $185 million in cuts to come chief among the measures the miner is implementing to take account of the newly lowered price of its main commodity.

For the half year to June 30, the London-headquartered gold miner reported adjusted net earnings of $39.3 million or 9.6 cents per share although the impact of one-off adjustments of $741 million resulted in a net loss of $701.2 million, or $1.71 per share.

The loss is attributable primarily to non-cash impairment charges of $727 million, post tax, related to the Buzwagi mine, which accounted for $543 million, the North Mara mine, which lost $128 million, the Tulawaka mine, which booked a writedown of $17 million, and the Nyanzaga mine, which took a charge of $39 million. The figures posted a year ago recorded an adjusted net profit of $74 million for earnings per share of 18 cents.

Operational cash flow was $99.0 million in the latest period. 

Production for the quarter to June 30 came to almost 166,000 ounces of gold, with cash costs of $879 per ounce sold reported, a figure which drops to $862 if the Tulawaka mine was excluded. However, the metric of all-in sustaining costs shows a figure of $1,416 per ounce.

Production for the half year came to almost 312,000 ounces of gold, with gold sales of almost 320,000 ounces recorded, both figures up from a year ago, when gold production of almost 298,000 and gold sales of just over 302,500 ounces were recorded. The miner is maintaining its full year production guidance.

The mid-cap gold producer, 74 per cent of which is owned by Barrick Gold Corporation (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX), could be regarded as a bellwether for Barrick shareholders bracing themselves for tomorrow’s quarterly results.

The company, spun off from parent Barrick, which rejected the offer of offloading it earlier this year, operates three of its mines in Tanzania and saw a fourth mine closed down earlier in the year, a casualty of commodity headwinds that rendered it uneconomic.

In common with other gold miners suffering from diminishing metals prices, the miner said in a company statement released with the figures that it is “taking decisive action in response to changed gold price environment”, has engaged in cost cutting measures, the first step of which identified $185 million in cuts.

Of this, $95 million is to come from a reduction in operating costs, $50 million comes from a reduction in sustaining capital expenditure, while another $25 million comes from shrinking exploration spending and the remaining $15 million is derived from trims to corporate administration expenses.

The company also announced a plan to shorten the mine life of the Buzwagi mine to 6 and a half years, a measure intended to return the mine to cash flow generation. Mining at the site – the company's highest cost mine – will cease in 3 and a half years under the new plan, with the remaining 3 years planned to be spent processing the stockpiles on hand.

“We have delivered strong operational performance in the first half, with production tracking ahead of guidance and cash costs below the bottom of the guidance range,” said chief executive officer, Greg Hawkins. 

“We have taken decisive action at all of our mines, including the reshaping of the life of mine at Buzwagi, in order to adapt to the lower gold price environment. We have a solid base from which to implement the findings of the Operational Review, which has identified potential cost savings of US$185 million across the group.

"Having taken these steps, we remain confident in the ability of our asset base to deliver shareholder value which is reflected in the decision to continue with our stated dividend policy. We remain on track to achieve our full year guidance.”

Shares in the company finished up in London the day after the release of figures, adding 1.50 pence per share to previous close to settle at 112.90 pence.

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Wed, 31 Jul 2013 12:57:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/96618/african-barrick-takes-700-mln-charge-as-golds-devaluation-bites-185-mln-in-cuts-promised-46685.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold to take $500 mln hit on sale of Barrick Energy ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/96466/barrick-gold-to-take-500-mln-hit-on-sale-of-barrick-energy-46437.html Beleaguered gold giant Barrick Gold Corp. (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX) announced late Tuesday the impending sale of its subsidiary Barrick Energy in a series of deals worth a total of $455 million.

The deals include the sale of assets to Venturion Oil for $59 million and an agreement, announced last month with Whitecap Resources (TSE:WCP), for another group of assets for $174 million. Calgary major Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.  (TSE:CNQ) has also agreed to pay $173 million for a gross overriding royalty on certain lands valued at about $50 million for Barrick Energy and its remaining assets.

Investors bracing themselves ahead of the gold producer’s release of quarterly figures next week could be in for another nasty shock, as the sale – about $405-million of which is to be cash -- means the world’s once leading gold producer will be recognizing a loss of $500 million in connection with the deal. The loss relates to the price paid for the business itself ($400 million some 5 years ago) as well as to the cost of capital invested since then.  The Toronto-headquartered miner said about $90-million of the $500-million loss would be a goodwill charge.

The sale comes as Barrick reacts to an unbroken string of trouble, much of which has affected other miners, particularly those producing gold, as precious metals prices drop and cost increases erode margins.

The impairment charge of $500 million in connection with the sale of the energy businesses comes on top of the previously announced impairment charge of $4.5 billion to $5.5 billion the mining major will be taking in the second quarter due to plummeting metal prices and the company’s never-ending catalogue of ills at its Pascua-Lama project. 

The Pascua-Lama project, which straddles the border between Chile and Argentina high in the Andes, has been the subject of numerous write downs, work-stoppages and legal wrangles culminating in a most recently court-ordered halt imposed on construction of the massive mine site due to various violations of the environmental permit. Barrick is obliged to build new water management systems before construction on the site will be permitted to resume, putting the date of first production for the mine back as far as mid-2016, two years beyond the date initially forecast.

The mid-July announcement that first production from the mine had been pushed back so far past the schedule previously proclaimed culminated in decade-low share prices for the gold giant. The company has also cautioned that the long-term assumptions on the price of precious metals, which Barrick uses to determine various metrics, may be re-assessed, subject to prices remaining at their new lower levels.

The sale announced late Tuesday ties in with the miner’s promise to sell non-core assets.

“As part of its disciplined capital allocation framework, Barrick is actively pursuing opportunities to optimize its portfolio, including through opportunities to divest certain non-core assets," a company statement released with the announcement read in part.

The sale is expected to boost liquidity, ease debt-pressure and allow the giant to turn its attentions to gold more fully.

Other assets thought to be likely to go on the block include African Barrick Gold PLC, in which the giant holds a 74 per cent share, the Kabanga nickel project in Tanzania, of which Barrick owns 50 per cent, and the Jabil Sayid copper project in Saudi Arabia.

The company said the energy deals are expected to close by July 31, subject to some conditions.

Shares in the company were trading well down on the Toronto Stock Exchange the day after the announcement, losing $1.02 off its prior close to hit $17.08 as of 1:57pm EST, a drop of more than 5 per cent.

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Wed, 24 Jul 2013 14:15:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/96466/barrick-gold-to-take-500-mln-hit-on-sale-of-barrick-energy-46437.html
<![CDATA[News - Appeals court finds against Barrick on Pascua-Lama ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/96263/appeals-court-finds-against-barrick-on-pascua-lama-46113.html The latest installment in Barrick Gold Corp’s (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX) series of woes clustered around the $8.5 billion money pit Pascua-Lama broke late Monday, with the formal suspension of the massive gold project as a Chilean appeals court ruled against the troubled giant in favour of the indigenous peoples who charge the Toronto-headquartered miner with contaminating their water supplies downstream from the mine.

The unanimous ruling from the Copiapo Court of Appeals concerning an action filed on behalf of four indigenous communities in 2012, held that the mining giant must adhere to the conditions of its environmental permit before construction of the border-straddling mine can recommence. To that end, the company must complete the mine’s water management system.

It feels like deja-vu all over again for the beleaguered giant, which was already the subject of a stop-work order and a multi-million dollar fine from the country’s environmental watchdog agency, Superintendence of the Environment (in Spanish, Superintendencia del Medio Ambiente or SMA), in late May. In addition to the fine levelled, the SMA insisted that Barrick satisfy the conditions of its permits by completing Pascua-Lama's water management system in such a way that it would ensure the watershed below the mine remained uncontaminated before proceeding, but the new ruling goes further by demanding the repair of damage already done to rivers.

The rivers in question feed the farms of the local indigenous population in the arid region of the Atacama Desert, reputed to be the driest desert in the world. Work on the site was already halted in April by the appeals court by way of injunction, while it examined the claims against the world’s biggest gold producer.

It is only the newest headache engendered by the high altitude mine, which crosses the border with Argentina on the roof of the Andes. The most recent in a series of legal woes, writedowns and work stoppages prior to Monday’s news – the announcement that first production from the mine had been pushed back to mid-2016, well past the late-2014 schedule previously proclaimed, as a consequence of May’s decision -- culminated in decade-low share prices for the gold giant.

In a company statement released on the heels of Monday’s ruling, Barrick said it was “committed to operating at the highest environmental standards at all of its operations around the world, including at Pascua-Lama, and is working diligently to meet all regulatory requirements at the project.”

“Barrick's vision is to be the world's best gold mining company by operating in a safe, profitable and responsible manner."

Should it ever get built, Pascua-Lama will be one of the world’s cheapest gold mines as well as one of the largest, with 17.9 million ounces of gold and 676 million ounces of silver.

Barrick was trading slightly up on the Toronto Stock Exchange the morning after the announcement, adding 27 cents to a previous close of $15.69 as of 9.52am EST.

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Tue, 16 Jul 2013 09:54:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/96263/appeals-court-finds-against-barrick-on-pascua-lama-46113.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick shares drop as Pascua-Lama delayed again and $5.5 bln impairment charge looms ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/95970/barrick-shares-drop-as-pascua-lama-delayed-again-and-55-bln-impairment-charge-looms-45647.html Troubled giant Barrick Gold lost another 5 per cent off its share price Tuesday Morning, after announcing a new delay at its troubled Pascua-Lama site, with the gold giant extending the construction timeline for the project in light of what it called "challenging market conditions and materially lower metal prices,” a change that pushes the production target for the project even further back to mid-2016, two years beyond the previous timeline.

The announcement, released on Friday afternoon before a long weekend in Canada, also warned shareholders to brace themselves for an impending impairment charge of up to $5.5 billion in the second quarter based on plummeting metal prices and delayed production at the high altitude project. The pain continues, with the company warning of what it calls “significant” additional charges in the second quarter.

Tensions over water safety issues at the project, which straddles Chile’s border with Argentina high in the Andes, came to a head in April when a local appeals court slapped a stop-work order on the site as the result of an injunction filed by indigenous communities, while an investigation was conducted which culminated in the ruling that the company had violated terms stipulated in the environmental approval it was granted for the site in 2006.

The finding resulted in a headline-making fine of US$16 million, the maximum amount available under Chilean law, but perhaps even more significantly brought construction work on the site to a halt until the company put in place the water-management systems previously agreed to.

In the announcement released Friday, the troubled gold giant said it "has submitted a plan, subject to review by Chilean regulatory authorities, to construct the project's water management system in compliance with permit conditions for completion by the end of 2014, after which [it] expects to complete remaining construction works in Chile, including pre-stripping.

"Under this scenario, ore from Chile is expected to be available for processing by mid-2016."

The company says it will provide an updated total capital cost estimate for the project in the upcoming quarter, once the new construction schedule is finalized, emphasizing that the extended schedule will result in “significantly reduced” monthly capital expenditures.

"In light of the challenging business environment we are facing today, and taking into consideration existing construction delays, the company is advancing the project in a prudent manner by extending the construction schedule over a longer period, which will reduce total planned capital expenditures by $1.5-$1.8 billion for the years 2013 and 2014, and allow us to efficiently re-sequence the remaining construction work," said president and chief executive officer, Jamie Sokalsky.

News of a massive looming impairment charge came in the same announcement, with the company cautioning that the long-term assumptions on the price of precious metals, which the company uses to determine various metrics, may be re-assessed, subject to prices remaining at their new lower levels.

“As a result of recent and continued significant declines in gold and silver prices, and the delay in first gold production, Barrick is conducting impairment testing. Preliminary analysis indicates an after-tax asset impairment charge in the range of approximately $4.5 to $5.5 billion in the second quarter for the Pascua-Lama project.

"The company will complete a final impairment assessment by its second quarter 2013 results release.”

In light of the lower prices that seem to be the new normal for the precious metals that provide the bulk of Barrick’s business, the company says in the announcement it is also reviewing its other assets for possible impairment charges in the second quarter, “which, although dependent on various analyses and assumptions which have not been finalized, are likely to be significant.”

The company is also awaiting a decision from the Copiapo Court of Appeals in connection with the constitutional rights protection action filed in September 2012 on behalf of four indigenous communities seeking an order suspending construction of the project in Chile.

Chiming in on the giant’s troubles is Silver Wheaton Corp. (TSE:SLW) (NYSE:SLW), the Vancouver-based streaming company with whom Barrick has a $625 million silver streaming agreement.

In an announcement released Monday, Silver Wheaton, party to an agreement under which it is entitled to 25 per cent of the silver produced from Pascua-Lama at favourable pricing, announced the downward revision of its production forecast for 2017 to 49 million silver equivalent ounces from the previous figure of 53 million as a result of the delay at the border-straddling mine. Production for 2013 is unaltered, continuing to be pegged at 33.5 million silver equivalent ounces.

As a consequence of the delay, Silver Wheaton will be entitled to silver production from three of Barrick's currently producing mines, the Lagunas Norte, Pierina, and Veladero mines during 2014 and 2015, to the extent of any production shortfall at Pascua-Lama.

Silver Wheaton also said it has agreed to extend the outside completion date by for the troubled mine by a year to the end of 2016, but cautions that should the terms of the completion guarantee still not be satisfied at that point, the streaming company will call in the $625 million in cash it put into the project, less a credit for whatever silver has been delivered up until that point.

The company reiterated that a facet of the original contract with Barrick included a completion guarantee, under which Barrick was required to have the high-altitude mine complete to a minimum of 75 per cent of design capacity by end of year 2015. Under the terms of the initial agreement, that date marks the point at which Silver Wheaton can terminate the contract if the requirements of the completion guarantee have not been met, making the extension of a year crucial.

"As long as Barrick is still advancing construction of Pascua-Lama at the end of 2015, Silver Wheaton does not intend to cancel the silver stream", said president and CEO, Randy Smallwood, in the release late Monday. 

"We are in regular contact with Barrick, and are confident that all the right measures are being taken to achieve production at this mine. Pascua-Lama is a world class gold and silver deposit and will be a world class mine once it begins production."

Once completed, Pascua-Lama is set, according to Barrick, to be one of the largest and lowest-cost gold mines in the world, expected to produce between 800,000 to 850,000 ounces of gold and 35 million ounces of silver in its first full five years of production.

Silver Wheaton shares were trading up on the TSX this morning, adding 74 cents to its previous close to hit $21.35 in intraday trading. Shares in Barrick were trading down, dropping 91 cents on the TSX to hit $15.69 at 10:24am, a drop of more than 5 per cent.

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Tue, 02 Jul 2013 10:26:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/95970/barrick-shares-drop-as-pascua-lama-delayed-again-and-55-bln-impairment-charge-looms-45647.html
<![CDATA[News - Pascua-Lama: is it time for Barrick to cut its losses? ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/95193/pascua-lama-is-it-time-for-barrick-to-cut-its-losses-44288.html Stock in Barrick Gold Corp (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX) rebounded slightly on the TSX Monday, the first full trading session following Friday's announcement that construction on the gold giant’s border-straddling Pascua-Lama project was being halted by order of the Chilean government's environmental regulator, although the stock continues to trade at less than half the level of its 52 week high.

The suspension of construction was accompanied by a series of stinging rebukes to the giant from the Environmental Superintendency over the “serious” nature of the company’s “violations” and the imposition of an 8 billion peso (approximately $16 million) fine, the maximum amount available under Chilean law, on Nevada Mining Company SpA, the subsidiary of Barrick Gold that is developing the high altitude mine.

The ruling, which follows a four-month investigation, will bring construction work on the project to a halt until the company puts in place systems for containing contaminated water, as stipulated in earlier agreements.

This most recent installment in the protracted development of the Pascua-Lama site has some wondering if it might be time for the embattled gold producer to walk away.

President and chief executive officer of Maison Placements Canada Inc., John Ing, recommends the company put the beleaguered project on ice.

“I would encourage them to go slow on the project. Why pour good money on bad money?”

“If the courts are going to rule against [the mine], why should [Barrick] go ahead? Sure they’ve sunk in $4 billion, but I for one don’t think they have to build the most expensive gold mine in the world. The deposit itself isn’t going anywhere.

"Go slow, and that will give [Barrick] an extra $3 billion over the next year and a half, which they could use, given their debt load, rather than going ahead blindly over the cliff.”

At the embattled gold giant’s annual shareholders’ meeting earlier in the year, CEO Jamie Sokalsky hinted at the possibility of abandoning the delay and overrun-plagued project altogether if the company could not be certain of its legal and regulatory ground. 

“We will not continue to spend capital if we do not have a strong indication of the required time frame to resolve these issues in short order,” said Sokalsky at the meeting in Toronto in late April, where both he and Barrick chairman and founder Peter Munk emphasized their dedication to saving funds in efforts to quell a shareholder revolt. “We are serious about disciplined capital allocation,” he said in his comments to the gathered investors. “That means we have to consider all options including the possibility of suspending the project.”

The order halting construction on the gold-silver project on Friday is only the most recent delay in the development of the trouble-plagued mine.

The project, which straddles Chile’s border with Argentina high on the spine of the Andes at 4,500 metres above sea level, has long been the subject of concerns relating to its proximity to glaciers and to the effects of inadequate water safety on downstream communities. 

Construction work on the Chilean side of the border-straddling project had already been halted in April by a local appeals court as the result of an injunction filed by indigenous communities while the investigation was conducted.

While the company pointed out at the time that the stop-work order affected only the Chilean side of the property, that side is estimated to hold more than 70 per cent of the project’s reserves.

Even before these recent events the mine had been a focus of trouble, the site of massive cost overruns and other delays, including a February announcement of a $500 million cost increase, which brought the total estimated cost of the mine up to $8.5 billion. The various delays had pushed back the start date of operations more than half a year to late 2014 before Friday’s announcement.

Once completed, Pascua-Lama is set, according to Barrick, to be one of the largest and lowest-cost gold mines in the world, expected to produce between 800,000 to 850,000 ounces of gold and 35 million ounces of silver in its first full five years of production.

Barrick was trading slightly up on the TSX the week following the release of the news with stock in the company up slightly from an open of $19.89 to reach as high as $20.10 per share in intraday trading, a long way from its 52 week high of $44.75.

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Mon, 27 May 2013 13:27:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/95193/pascua-lama-is-it-time-for-barrick-to-cut-its-losses-44288.html
<![CDATA[News - Pascua-Lama halted by Chilean govt; Barrick fined US$16 million ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/95177/pascua-lama-halted-by-chilean-govt-barrick-fined-us16-million-44264.html Construction on Barrick Gold Corp.'s (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX) beleaguered Pascua-Lama project has been halted by order of the Chilean government environmental regulator Friday, according to a statement on the agency's website, the newest delay in the development of the trouble-plagued mine.

In addition, the mining giant was slapped with a fine of 8 billion pesos, about US$16 million, the maximum amount available under Chilean law, for violating terms stipulated in the environmental approval it was granted in 2006, according to a statement posted on the website of the Chilean environmental regulator.

The ruling, which follows a four-month investigation, will bring construction work on the site to a halt until the company puts in place the systems for containing contaminated water it previously agreed to implement.

The measures imposed on Barrick are the first from the Superintendence of the Environment agency, which was given enforcement power at the end of last year, and follow a thorough investigation of what the agency called "serious" violations of the company’s environmental permit.

The project, which straddles Chile’s border with Argentina high on the spine of the Andes at 4,500 metres above sea level, has long been the subject of concerns relating to its proximity to glaciers and to the effects of inadequate water safety on downstream communities. Work on the Chilean side of the development was halted in April by a local appeals court as the result of an injunction filed by indigenous communities while the investigation was conducted.

While the company pointed out that the stop-work order announced in April affected only the Chilean side of the border-straddling project, that side holds an estimated 80 per cent of reserves.

The mine has been a focus of trouble for months now, already seeing massive cost overruns and other delays, including a cost increase of $500 million announced in February, which brought the total estimated cost of the mine up to $8.5 billion, all of which had pushed back the start date of operations more than half a year to late 2014 before Friday’s announcement.

Once completed, Pascua-Lama is set, according to Barrick, to be one of the largest and lowest-cost gold mines in the world, expected to produce between 800,000 to 850,000 ounces of gold and 35 million ounces of silver in its first full five years of production.

The news came with a trading halt on Barrick’s stock on the TSX effective 12:04pm Toronto time, and on stock in Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW) (TSE:SLW), the embattled giant’s partner on the project, a few minutes later. Prior to the stop trade order, stock in Barrick was trading down, hitting an intraday low of $19.41 per share from an open of $19.56, a far cry from the stock’s 52 week high of $43.30  per share.

Barrick issued a release close to 3:00pm ET today, saying it is in the process of reviewing the Chilean regulator's resolution in detail, and that it is "fully committed to complying with all aspects" of the resolution and to operating at the highest environmental standards. 

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Fri, 24 May 2013 14:49:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/95177/pascua-lama-halted-by-chilean-govt-barrick-fined-us16-million-44264.html
<![CDATA[News - Three senior Barrick staffers resign; gold giant re-affirms commitment to Pascua-Lama ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/94573/three-senior-barrick-staffers-resign-gold-giant-re-affirms-commitment-to-pascua-lama-43201.html  

Troubled gold giant Barrick Gold Corp. (TSE:ABX) (NYSE:ABX) announced late Thursday the resignations of three of its South American executives as it makes moves to unfreeze its stalled $8.5 billion flagship project, still subject to a work-stoppage order from a Chilean court.

President for Barrick South America, Guillermo Calo – who has held his post only since last July – exited the embattled miner, in company with general director of operations, Robert Mayne-Nicholls, and regional vice-president for corporate affairs, Rodrigo Jimenez.

The company announced the same day a shake-up for its troubled Pascua-Lama project with a view to satisfying Chilean regulatory requirements and thus restarting the project.

Pascua-Lama, a border-straddling project high in the Andes, has been hit with a series of difficulties including cost overruns, project delays and legal wrangles, the most recent of which saw construction on the Chilean side of the giant project halted by order of a local court over environmental concerns on the grounds it destroys pristine glaciers and damages water supply impacting various downstream communities.

The worst-case scenario could see the cancellation of the environmental permit for the Chilean side of the giant gold-silver project, which is also the side of the border-straddling project where the majority of the resource lies.

In a statement issued Thursday, Barrick reiterated its dedication to solving problems with the project, saying "The company is already taking all the possible steps to demonstrate its commitment, which includes updating engineering studies, elaborating performance plans and naming a new management team.”

"Pascua-Lama's main priority is to re-start construction activity with the approval of Chilean authorities." 

The suspension of the construction order, which came April 10, was a major blow that sent stock in the gold producer sliding just ahead of the company’s main shareholder meeting for the year.

At the annual shareholders meeting held in Toronto on April 24, the gold giant hinted at the possibility of abandoning the project altogether, with chief executive Jamie Sokalsky saying the company could stop work on the unpopular gold-silver project notwithstanding the $8.5 billion already invested.

“We will not continue to spend capital if we do not have a strong indication of the required time frame to resolve these issues in short order. We are serious about disciplined capital allocation. That means we have to consider all options including the possibility of suspending the project.”

Barrick earlier this month tapped two high-profile mining executives to oversee the project, Marcelo Awad, the former chief executive of London-listed Chilean mining company Antofagasta PLC (LON:ANTO), and Eduardo Flores, ex-general manager of Goldcorp. Inc.'s (TSE:G) (NYSE:GG) El Morro project.

Stock in Barrick was trading down today, hitting an intra-day low of $18.30 per share from an open of $19.23.

 

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Fri, 26 Apr 2013 14:46:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/94573/three-senior-barrick-staffers-resign-gold-giant-re-affirms-commitment-to-pascua-lama-43201.html
<![CDATA[News - Shareholder revolt at Barrick ASM; executive compensation rejected ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/94509/shareholder-revolt-at-barrick-asm-executive-compensation-rejected-43102.html A group of institutional investors representing several of Canada’s largest pension funds made its displeasure plain a week earlier on the matter of co-chairman John Thornton’s US$11.9-million signing bonus, broadcasting their intention to reject the resolution at this morning’s meeting.
Co-chairman and company founder Peter Munk addressed the issue head on in a speech that talked up the qualifications and track record of Thornton, a former president of Goldman Sachs.
“We had to secure him,” Munk said, referring to the controversial signing bonus. “The right thing was to have this advanced investment, to secure the kind of access he could give us and the credibility he could provide us with in securing major capital.”
It was a keenly-anticipated meeting for shareholders who have watched while the value of their shares has dropped to less than half what it was trading at in the last year in the midst of various project delays, asset write downs and an industry-wide market drubbing.
The hall where the meeting was held reached capacity half an hour before the event was scheduled to begin, leaving many shareholders locked out, according to reports. 
President and CEO Jamie Sokalsky told the company's annual meeting of shareholders he shared their disappointment after the slew of recent events that had the gold giant beset on every side.
"This has been a tough year for Barrick and our shareholders. It seems as if our company has been under siege by several disappointments and setbacks," Sokalsky told the meeting.
"I feel your disappointment, and I give you my commitment that we will do everything we can to ensure Barrick remains a strong and prosperous company, and improve our share price."
The upshot of the quarterly results released Wednesday morning is that Barrick attributes its lowered profits to a drop in gold and copper prices as well as reduced volumes sold during the quarter.
Cuts to spending were promised in the same report, with capital expenditure to drop to between US$5.2 to US$5.7 billion from the previous guidance of US$5.7 to US$6.3 billion and the planned spend on exploration to drop from the US$400 to US$440 million of previous guidance to a range of US$300 to US$340 million.
In a statement issued earlier in the day with the company’s quarterly results for the first three months of 2013, Sokalsky spoke of the need to augment returns.
"While we remain positive on the long-term fundamentals for gold and copper, we don't rely on higher metal prices to be the only driver of shareholder returns," Sokalsky said.
In the same statement, Sokalsky said the company was taking a “hard look” at “evaluating all alternatives” to its trouble-plagued Pascua-Lama project in light of the recent court-ordered suspension of construction at the site and attendant uncertainties, while also working to address regulatory issues cropping up on the Chilean side of the border-straddling project.
Barrick shares were trading at $18.49 per share on the TSX in the early afternoon, from an open of $18.90. ]]>
Wed, 24 Apr 2013 13:49:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/94509/shareholder-revolt-at-barrick-asm-executive-compensation-rejected-43102.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Q1 profit falls on lower copper and gold, but beats estimates; spending cuts galore ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/94493/barrick-q1-profit-falls-on-lower-copper-and-gold-but-beats-estimates-spending-cuts-galore-43086.html Barrick’s (TSE:ABX) keenly-awaited results for the first quarter of 2013 were released early Wednesday, and, as expected, the numbers were all down, with falls in the price of gold taking their toll on the Toronto-based gold and copper producer, but adjusted profit still beat analyst estimates and the company plans to cut around $500 million from its expenses. 

Net earnings of US$847 million or 85 cents per share for the three months that ended March 31 were down markedly on last year’s equivalent figures of US$1.04 billion or $1.04 per share.

Adjusted net earnings of US$923 million or 92 cents per share also represented a drop on the year-ago figures of US$1.10 billion or $1.10 per share.

Revenues for the quarter were $3.44 billion, down from last year’s equivalent figure of $3.64 billion, a fall driven, the company said, by lower realized prices for copper and gold as well as lower sales volumes for both metals and a rise in the cost of sales for both commodities. 

The figures cover the period until March 31, meaning that gold’s recent massive slides are not reflected.

Analysts expectations put adjusted net earnings for the gold giant at 85 cents per share, on expected revenues of $3.59 billion, higher than the $3.44 billion reported.

Overall gold production for the quarter came in at 1.797 million ounces, down from the year-ago figure of 1.88 million ounces, with the company anticipating between 7.0 to 7.4 million ounces for the year. All-in sustaining costs per ounce were reported at US$919 for the quarter, beating the improved guidance of US$950-1,050 per ounce for calendar 2013, while total cash costs for the yellow metal for the first three months of the year were recorded at US$561 an ounce, beating the 2013 guidance of $610 to $660 per ounce.

Copper production was in line with its outlook, with 127 million pounds produced in the quarter just ended, up from the year-ago figure of 117 million pounds, on a guidance of 480 to 540 million pounds for the year. Cash costs per pound were $2.46 for the quarter, higher than the costs of US$2.10 to US$2.30 per pound stipulated in the 2013 guidance, while the figure of $3.00 per pound for fully allocated costs for the quarter was also higher than the guidance of $2.60 to $2.85 per pound.

"Our high quality portfolio of mines combined with our sharp focus on cost management has translated into strong quarterly financial and operating results," said company president and CEO Jamie Sokalsky in the statement. "It is very rewarding to see that our cost reduction efforts have begun to take effect and are reflected in low all-in sustaining costs of $919 per ounce and total cash costs of only $561 per ounce this quarter. We have also further reduced total capex, exploration and all-in sustaining cost guidance for the full year."

The company has had its share of troubles of late, suffering through gold’s recent precipitous market dive, a work-stoppage at the giant Pascua-Lama site in South America, and most recently a share-holder rebellion sparked by the matter of co-Chairman John Thorton’s multi-million signing bonus, a combination of events that saw the gold giant trading at a 20-year low earlier this month. Barrick’s troubles are likely to come to a head at this morning’s meeting with investor displeasure expected to boil over.

"At Pascua-Lama, we are working to address the environmental and other regulatory requirements on the Chilean side of the project. Concurrently, we are taking a hard look at evaluating all alternatives in light of the uncertainties associated with the suspension of construction in Chile," Sokalsky said. 

"While we remain positive on the long-term fundamentals for gold and copper, we don't rely on higher metal prices to be the only driver of shareholder returns."

It reduced its 2013 outlook in a number of key spending categories, largely driven by its "sharp focus on cost control", the company said. Barrick launched a company-wide overhead review in the first quarter, and reduced overhead costs by over $100 million for the full year. 

The gold miner said it identified roughly $500 million of further reductions to expenditures, including a revised total capex budget of $5.2 to $5.7 billion, lower than the previous range of $5.7 to $6.3 billion. 

It also lowered its all-in sustaining costs guidance to $950-$1,050 per ounce from its previous outlook of $1,000-$1,100 per ounce and cut its exploration budget to $300 to $340 million from its prior forecast of $400 to $440 million.

"In today's challenging environment, Barrick has no plans to build any new mines," it said. 

The company, with mines in North America, South America, Africa and the Australia Pacific, saw its shares gain 4 per cent on Wednesday morning to $18.72. 

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Wed, 24 Apr 2013 10:15:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/94493/barrick-q1-profit-falls-on-lower-copper-and-gold-but-beats-estimates-spending-cuts-galore-43086.html
<![CDATA[News - Moody’s reviewing Barrick after fresh Pascua-Lama setbacks ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/94377/moodys-reviewing-barrick-after-fresh-pascua-lama-setbacks-42891.html Barrick Gold Corp. (TSE:ABX) (NYSE: ABX) is under review by Moody’s Investors Service for a potential ratings downgrade after last week’s court-ordered suspension of construction on the miner’s troubled $8 billion Chilean project.

The review comes on the back of Barrick’s share slide following news of fresh delays on the beleaguered Pascua-Lama mine and gold’s recent record-setting woes.

The two developments have seen Barrick's stock hit year lows, with yesterday’s close of $18.17 representing a 5.6 per cent plunge, a tumble that took the Toronto-based company’s market cap to $18.2 billion.

Work on the Pascua-Lama mine, which straddles the border of Chile and Argentina along the spine of the Andes, was brought to a halt over environmental concerns relating to the project’s proximity to glaciers and issues connected to the water safety of downstream communities.

A Barrick company statement issued at the time the work-stoppage was announced said it was “too early to assess the impact, if any, on the overall capital budget and schedule of the project.”

The project has already seen massive cost overruns and other delays, which have pushed back the start date of the mine more than half a year to late 2014.

Moody’s has marked Barrick’s senior unsecured rating for a possible downgrade from the gold producer’s current Baa1, or “stable” outlook, with the proviso that any downgrade would unlikely be more than one “notch.”

The ratings agency said in a company statement that it would consider a number of factors when evaluating Barrick, but singled out the troubled high altitude site for mention, saying: “`The review will focus on steps Barrick can take to improve its cost profile, the impact of, possible responses to, and timing with respect to the Pascua-Lama situation.''

In the same statement, Moody’s said it will also consider “other possible actions that could support the earnings and cash flow generation profile and minimize the need for continued incremental increases in debt.”

The development comes only days after JPMorgan’s (NYSE:JPM) downgrade of the stock on Monday. The analyst John Bridges cut his rating on the miner from overweight to neutral, slashing his price target from $47 to $34. At the time, Bridges noted the possibility of commencing mining on the Argentinean side first, cautioning that this course of action would still require more than a year of construction.

While the stop-work order affects only the Chilean side of the border-straddling project, that side holds an estimated 80 per cent of reserves, and also sends a troubling signal of a possible hardening in Chile’s attitude to mining investment.  

Plagued with delays and cost overruns, the project high in the Andes is, according to Barrick, expected to be one of the world’s largest and lowest cost mines once in production. 

The largest gold mining company in the world, Barrick, has sunk far from last June’s 52-week high of $44.75, with production for 2013 so far flat or weaker than the year-ago period.

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Thu, 18 Apr 2013 09:38:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/94377/moodys-reviewing-barrick-after-fresh-pascua-lama-setbacks-42891.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick taps two high-profile mining execs to revive troubled Pascua-Lama project ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/94359/barrick-taps-two-high-profile-mining-execs-to-revive-troubled-pascua-lama-project-42850.html Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE:ABX) (TSE:ABX) has reportedly appointed two well-known mining execs to management positions on the Toronto-based gold producer’s beleaguered Pascua-Lama mine project, in a shakeup designed to advance the stalled and notoriously troubled property.

Barrick, the world’s largest gold mining company, named Marcelo Awad, ex- head of Chile’s Antofagasta Minerals, to the postion of deputy director on the mining project that straddles the border between Chile and Argentina. The lion’s share of his role will pertain to advising the company on regulation and government relations.

The position of senior vice-president is to be filled by Eduardo Flores, ex-Goldcorp Inc. (TSE:G), who has already worked with Barrick on the Tethvan Copper Co. joint venture with Antofagasta on the development of a US$3.3 billion copper-gold deposit in Pakistan. In his new role, Flores will represent the company to local and national authorities.

These appointments are consistent with the miner’s stated aim of “taking all the necessary steps to advance in an appropriate fashion on the Chilean side” the open pit gold, silver and copper mining project, stymied by court orders and environmental questions.

Both roles are likely to be crucial to the future of the project Barrick calls its number one global priority. The two appointments come as part of an effort to meet regulatory requirements to restart activities the week after construction of the project was halted by a court-ordered work stoppage.

While the construction on the Argentinean side of the project was not affected, the development boded poorly for the property, already plagued by cost overruns at the high altitude site and resistance from local environmental groups. With roughly 80 per cent of the reserves located on the Chilean side of the border-straddling project, a go-ahead from the Chilean authorities is a pre-requisite to continue with the project.  

Last week’s work stop order – the second in six months – is one of several challenges being faced at the US$8.5 billion project. The most recent dispute could take several months to reach a resolution. An appeal to the Chilean Supreme Court is a likely potential outcome.

Perched in the Andes, the project has prompted an intense level of scrutiny and has even raised the spectre of the potential cancellation of the company’s licence to mine, in the name of protecting both the pristine nearby glaciers and in order to guard against the knock-on effect of possible pollution to the downstream water supply. 

Issues pertaining to dust from the open pit mine and drainage and water questions have industry observers fearing the project could be caught in legal limbo.

Flores has seen the consequences of environmental turmoil up close as the general manager of the Chilean El Morro copper-gold mine, which had its environmental permit struck down last year.

Once in production, the Pascua-Lama mine is expected to rank as one of the world’s largest and lowest cost mines, according to Barrick.

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Wed, 17 Apr 2013 14:26:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/94359/barrick-taps-two-high-profile-mining-execs-to-revive-troubled-pascua-lama-project-42850.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold drops as Chilean court blocks project ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/94205/barrick-gold-drops-as-chilean-court-blocks-project--42581.html Barrick Gold Corp. (TSE:ABX), the world’s largest gold miner by sales, declined to the lowest intraday level in more than four years after a Chilean court suspended construction of its $8.5 billion Pascua-Lama gold and silver mine.

The shares declined 7.1 percent to C$25.21 at 12:46 p.m. in Toronto on Wednesday.

Barrick said it hasn’t received notice from the court and couldn’t comment on the measure, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

Construction activities in Argentina, where the majority of Pascua-Lama's critical infrastructure is located, including the process plant and tailings storage facility, are not affected, the Toronto-based company said in the statement.

Radio Cooperativa reported that the Copiapo Appeals court accepted an injunction filed by indigenous communities. The court said the project was destroying glaciers and harming water supply.

Chilean Interior Minister Andres Chadwick welcomed the mine's suspension and said he hopes the world's top gold mining company can now fix problems at Pascua Lama.

The suspension is a setback to Barrick, which faces as much as $10.2 million in fines in connection with the mine, which Chile’s environmental regulator said last month has failed to comply with environmental rules. 

Once completed, Pascua-Lama is set to be one of the largest and lowest-cost gold mines in the world. 

The mine, located 4,500 metres above sea level and spanning the border between Chile and Argentina, is expected to produce between 800,000 to 850,000 ounces of gold and 35 million ounces of silver in its first full five years of production.

In February, Barrick Gold reported a loss of $3.03 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with a profit of $981 million a year earlier. The stock has dropped approximately 40 percent over the past twelve months.

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Wed, 10 Apr 2013 13:24:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/94205/barrick-gold-drops-as-chilean-court-blocks-project--42581.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold swings to Q4 net loss on hefty copper unit charge, forecasts lower gold output this year ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/93052/barrick-gold-swings-to-q4-net-loss-on-hefty-copper-unit-charge-forecasts-lower-gold-output-this-year-40609.html Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:ABX)(TSE:ABX) Thursday said it swung to a net loss in its fourth quarter on $4.2 billion in impairment charges mostly related to its copper business, but its adjusted profit beat Street views despite being struck by higher copper and gold costs, and lower realized copper prices. 

The world's largest gold producer also forecast lower gold production for this year, at between 7.0 to 7.4 million ounces, compared to 7.42 million ounces of gold output seen in 2012. It also anticipates total cash costs of $610 to $660 an ounce, higher than the $584 per ounce last year, reflecting the impact of lower order grades in South America, North America and Australia Pacific, combined with rising labour and fuel costs. 

Copper production in 2013 is expected to increase to between 480 and 540 million pounds, versus 468 million pounds in 2012. 

Total capex for 2013 is budgeted at $5.7 to $6.3 billion.

"Investors are rightfully demanding fundamental change in the gold industry, and Barrick is driving this new paradigm," said president and CEO, Jamie Sokalsky. 

"Rising costs, poor capital allocation and the pursuit of production growth at any cost in the industry have led to declining equity valuations across the sector. The message is clear: the industry must chart a new path forward."

In the fourth quarter, the giant gold and copper producer reported a net loss of $3.06 billion, or $3.06 per share, compared to a net profit of $0.96 billion, or 96 cents per share, a year earlier. 

The latest period includes $3.8 billion in after-tax impairment charges tied to the company's copper business, and a $0.4 billion asset impairment charge attributable to various properties in its oil and gas business unit, and to its investment in Reko Diq. 

The copper charge is related to the new life-of-mine model for its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia, which reflects higher operating and sustaining capital costs.

We recorded a total after-tax asset and goodwill impairment charge of $3.8 billion for the copper business unit in the fourth quarter, as the new life-of-mine model for Lumwana reflects higher operating and sustaining capital costs and reduced profitability. 

Adjusted earnings for the quarter were $1.11 billion, or $1.11 per share, compared to $1.17 billion, or $1.17 per share, in the same period a year earlier.  The company beat analysts' estimates in the latest period of $1.05 a share.

Barrick said higher gold and copper costs, and lower realized copper prices, were partially offset by a higher realized gold price and sales volumes for both metals, as well as a lower income tax expense. 

Total revenues were $4.19 billion, up from $3.76 billion a year ago. 

Adjusted operating cash flow of $1.75 billion for the quarter increased 35% from $1.30 billion in the same prior year period. 

In the quarter, the company produced 2.02 million ounces of gold, versus $1.81 million ounces in the fourth quarter of 2011.  Total cash costs were higher, at $584 per ounce for the quarter, compared to $505 an ounce a year ago. 

The average realized gold price was also higher, however, at $1,714 an ounce - up from $1,664 an ounce a year earlier. 

Copper production was lower at 130 million pounds, down from 143 million pounds, while average realized copper prices also declined to $3.54 a pound from $3.69 a pound. 

"Barrick highlighted the need for change last year, and we are increasingly taking strong action and re-focusing our business based on the principle that returns will drive production, production will not drive returns," Sokalsky said. 

The company is forecasting lower production this year, citing a number of factors from lower production at its Goldstrike mine due to lower throughput capacity on account of modifications, to lower 2013 guidance for its African subsidiary. 

It added that the outlook also reflects a change in the production mix, as higher production in North America is offset by lower output in South America. 

"Barrick's strategy prioritizes shareholder value creation by focusing on maximizing risk-adjusted rates of return and free cash flow through a disciplined approach to capital allocation," Sokalsky said. 

"The execution of this strategy will position the company to return more capital to shareholders over time. We made some significant initial progress in the second half of 2012 and we are taking further action in 2013 and beyond."

The company said Thursday that first gold production from its massive Pascua Lama mine on the border of Chile and Argentina is still targeted for the second half of 2014. 

Shares of Barrick rose more than 2.2% this morning to $32.42 in Toronto. 

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Thu, 14 Feb 2013 10:07:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/93052/barrick-gold-swings-to-q4-net-loss-on-hefty-copper-unit-charge-forecasts-lower-gold-output-this-year-40609.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold in focus as it ends talks to sell African Barrick stake to China National ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/92234/barrick-gold-in-focus-as-it-ends-talks-to-sell-african-barrick-stake-to-china-national-39131.html Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:ABX) (TSE:ABX) will be a stock to watch this morning as the gold giant said it has ended talks to sell its 74 per cent stake in African Barrick Gold plc (LON:ABG) to China National Gold. 

President and CEO of the world's biggest gold company, Jamie Sokalsky, did not rule out a sale to another party, but said that it "will only proceed with opportunities that generate acceptable value for Barrick" in a "prudent and disciplined" approach, adding that the discussions were part of its ongoing efforts to optimize its portfolio. 

"African Barrick Gold's assets hold significant potential, and we will continue to look for ways to best realize that value for our shareholders."

Shares in African Barrick Gold shed more than 19 per cent to 358.65 pence in London early afternoon trade. 

Barrick said it continues to implement "a disciplined capital allocation framework" focused on maximizing returns and free cash flow, and is looking at its entire portfolio as part of this process. 

In early November, Barrick reported a sharp decline in third quarter profit related to impairment charges tied to an exploration property in Papua New Guinea, as well as unrealized losses on derivative investments. 

The latest results also reflected lower gold and copper sales volumes, higher cost of sales applicable to gold, and lower realized gold prices.

The gold miner's producing gold mines are in North America, South America and the Australia Pacific, and it also holds a 73.9 per cent equity interest in African Barrick Gold, which owns gold mines and exploration properties in Africa. 

Gold production was lower in its third quarter at 1.78 million ounces, compared to 1.9 million ounces, while copper production also fell to 112 million pounds, down from 140 million pounds a year ago. 

Monday night, rival Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) (TSE:G), raised its annual dividend 11 per cent, hiking its monthly payout to 5 cents a share from 4.5 cents.

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Tue, 08 Jan 2013 09:35:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/92234/barrick-gold-in-focus-as-it-ends-talks-to-sell-african-barrick-stake-to-china-national-39131.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold posts sharply lower Q3 profit, gold and copper sales fall on lower prices ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/90894/barrick-gold-posts-sharply-lower-q3-profit-gold-and-copper-sales-fall-on-lower-prices-36791.html Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:ABX)(TSE:ABX) reported Thursday a sharp decline in profit related to impairment charges tied to an exploration property in Papua New Guinea, as well as unrealized losses on derivative investments. 

The latest results also reflected lower gold and copper sales volumes, higher cost of sales applicable to gold, and lower realized gold prices.

The gold miner's producing gold mines are in North America, South America and the Australia Pacific, and it also holds a 73.9 per cent equity interest in African Barrick Gold plc, which owns gold mines and exploration properties in Africa. 

For the three months that ended September 30, net profit was $0.62 billion, or 62 cents per share, compared to net earnings of $1.37 billion, or $1.37 per share, a year ago. 

Adjusted for $148 million in impairment charges related to the property it acquired as a result of the Kainantu acquisition in 2007, as well as $71 million in unrealized losses on non-hedge derivative instruments, adjusted earnings were 85 cents per share, down from $1.38 per share in the year-earlier period. 

Operating cash flow, a key metric in the industry, was $1.73 billion, versus $1.9 billion in the third quarter of last year. 

Revenues were lower at $3.4 billion, versus $4.0 billion a year ago. 

During the third quarter, the company said sales from its Zaldívar copper mine in Chile were impacted by a labor strike at the port of Antofagasta, which delayed shipment of 26 million pounds. The strike has ended and these sales will be recorded in the fourth quarter, it added.

Gold production was lower at 1.78 million ounces, compared to 1.9 million ounces, while copper production also fell to 112 million pounds, down from 140 million pounds a year ago. 

Average realized gold price was $1,655 per ounce, down from $1,743 an ounce, and average realized copper price came in at $3.52 per pound - down slightly from $3.54 a pound a year ago. 

Total gold cash costs rose almost 31 per cent to $592 an ounce, and copper cash costs grew  to $2.33 per pound, from $1.83 per pound in the same quarter last year. 

Gold total cash margins were $1,063 per ounce, compared to $1,290 per ounce in the third quarter of 2011. 

The company said it now expects 2012 gold production of 7.3 to 7.5 million ounces, within the original guidance range of 7.3 to 7.8 million ounces. 

Total cash costs for gold are anticipated to be higher at between $575 to $585 per ounce, compared to the previous outlook of $550 to$575 per ounce, primarily due to higher cash costs from Australia Pacific and African Barrick Gold, the company said. 

Full year copper production is expected to be about 450 million pounds as a result of the delay in first production at Jabal Sayid in Saudi Arabia, with cash costs still anticipated in the range of $2.10 to $2.30 a pound. 

During the third quarter, Barrick said it cut or deferred about $1.0 billion in capex from the initial sustaining and minesite expansion budget for 2013 as a result of the company's on-going portfolio review and cost control focus. 

Despite additional spending at Pascua-Lama, and continued inflationary industry cost pressures, the company expects 2013 capex to be largely in line with 2012.

Shares in the gold miner tumbled almost 8 per cent on Thursday, to $37.19 as of late morning in Toronto.

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Thu, 01 Nov 2012 10:56:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/90894/barrick-gold-posts-sharply-lower-q3-profit-gold-and-copper-sales-fall-on-lower-prices-36791.html
<![CDATA[News - Goldcorp beats Barrick in court battle over El Morro mine ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/87382/goldcorp-beats-barrick-in-court-battle-over-el-morro-mine-31090.html Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:ABX)(TSE:ABX) Tuesday lost a courtroom battle over the ownership of the El Morro gold-copper project in Chile, after a Canadian judge dismissed claims filed against Goldcorp (NYSE:GG)(TSE:G).

Barrick started began legal action after Goldcorp signed an agreement to buy a 70 per cent stake in the El Morro project, one of the largest known copper and gold deposits in Latin America.

Barrick had a deal to buy the stake from Xstrata (LON:XTA) but lost out when Goldcorp arrived with a side deal after minority stakeholder New Gold rejected the Barrick bid as part of its right of first refusal.

Toronto-based Barrick, the world's largest gold miner, filed a lawsuit against New Gold, Goldcorp and Xstrata in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The lawsuit stated that the exercise of the right of first refusal was invalid and had improperly interfered with Barrick's right to acquire the interest in El Morro.

Ontario Court Justice Herman Wilton-Siegel dismissed the claims made by Barrick, Goldcorp said in a statement late Tuesday.

"We are pleased that the court has confirmed our position that our acquisition of El Morro was completely proper and consistent with the relevant agreements and Chilean law," Goldcorp's CEO Chuck Jeannes said in a statement.

Barrick said it continued to believe that New Gold improperly exercised its right of first refusal. It would review the court's ruling in detail and consider its options.

As at December 31, 2010, proven and probable reserves at El Morro totaled 8.4 million ounces of gold and 6.1 billion pounds of copper.

Separately, Barrick rehired a former member of its financial team to fill a vacancy created when it ousted its chief executive, saying it wanted to boost the company's lacklustre stock price.

Barrick hired Ammar Al-Joundi as its new chief financial officer. The CFO job opened up at Barrick when it promoted Jamie Sokalsky to replace Aaron Regent in a surprise shakeup announced June 6.

Al-Joundi had been CFO at Agnico-Eagle Mines (TSE:AEM) since leaving Barrick in September 2010. He spent 11 years at Barrick before joining Agnico-Eagle.

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Wed, 27 Jun 2012 07:58:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/87382/goldcorp-beats-barrick-in-court-battle-over-el-morro-mine-31090.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick slides after management shake up - UPDATE ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/86828/barrick-slides-after-management-shake-up-update-30156.html Global gold giant Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:ABX) (TSE:ABX) saw its shares tumble almost five per cent Wednesday afternoon, after it said executive VP and CFO Jamie Sokalsky will replace Aaron Regent as president and CEO of the company.

Shares were down 4.69 per cent as at about 3 p.m. EDT, as investors digested the news of the major change in Barrick’s senior management.

The announcement comes less than a month after Regent was publicly criticized by the chairman and founder of the world's largest gold miner for a falling share price. Sokalsky has also replaced Regent on the company’s board of directors.

Barrick also said Wednesday that John L. Thorton will assume the role of co-chairman of the board, alongside Barrick’s founder, Peter Munk, effective immediately.

"On behalf of our Board, I would like to thank Aaron for his significant contribution to Barrick's development,” said Munk.

"We are fully committed to maximizing shareholder value, but have been disappointed with our share price performance. Our Board has every confidence in Jamie's experience and commitment to take our company forward."

Sokalsky first joined Barrick Gold as treasurer in 1993, and became chief financial officer at the company in 1999. 

He has 10 years experience as an executive at George Weston Limited.

"I feel enormously privileged to take on this role at Barrick, a company that combines operational excellence and financial strength with a track record of successful execution," said Sokalsky.

"My focus will be on maximizing shareholder value and our mission of superior performance."

Thornton is an international businessman, corporate director, and is a former president of Goldman Sachs. He holds degrees from Harvard College, the University of Oxford and the Yale School of Management.

"John's knowledge and experience of global business affairs are truly exceptional and we are all fortunate that he has agreed to take on this important role," said Munk.

Barrick holds a portfolio of 26 operating mines as well as advanced exploration and development projects located across the world, with large land positions on some of the most prolific mineral trends.

Its producing gold mines are concentrated in North America, South America, and the Australia Pacific. Barrick also holds interests in oil and gas properties in Canada.

Its stock has been beaten down ever since Regent led a $7.3 billion takeover last summer of copper miner Equinox Minerals, expanding outside the gold mining sector that has always strictly defined the company.

Barrick's share price, along with many others in the gold mining sector, has fallen almost 15 per cent in the last six months.

The company expects 2012 gold production of 7.3 to 7.8 million ounces at total and net cash costs of $520-$560 per ounce and $400-$450 per ounce, respectively.

It also forecasts 2012 copper production of 550 to 600 million pounds at C1 cash costs of $1.90-$2.20 per pound.

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Wed, 06 Jun 2012 15:08:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/86828/barrick-slides-after-management-shake-up-update-30156.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold Q1 earnings rise 3%, hikes dividend 33% ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/85834/barrick-gold-q1-earnings-rise-3-hikes-dividend-33-28559.html Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX)(NYSE:ABX) reported a three percent increase in its first-quarter profit Wednesday, narrowly missing
estimates, as the company hiked its quarterly dividend by 33 percent.

For the three months ended March 31, the gold and copper producer posted net earnings of $1.03 billion, or $1.03 per share, up from $1.0 billion, or $1.00 per share, a year ago. Adjusted for certain one-time items, earnings rose eight percent to $1.09 billion, or $1.09 per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings of $1.11 per share and revenue of $3.76-billion.

"We made good progress on a number of areas in the quarter," said Barrick's president and CEO Aaron Regent.

"We had good operating performance, which translated into solid financial results and further advanced our projects under construction with Pueblo Viejo and Jabal Sayid to start producing this year and Pascua-Lama in the middle of next year.

"We also progressed our exploration program, which continues to increase our resource base, improved our liquidity and returned more capital back to shareholders with a further increase in our dividend."

Barrick said that the adjusted profit was reduced by $93-million in impairment charges, primarily related to the write down of its investment in Highland Gold Mining in Russia.

During the quarter, the company produced a total of 1.88 million ounces of gold, down from 1.95 million ounces a year ago, at total cash costs of $545 per ounce. The company sold 1.78 million ounces of gold, down from 1.86 million ounces a year ago, at an average realized price of $1,691 per ounce.

Barrick produced 117 million pounds of copper in the first quarter, up from 75 million pounds a year ago, at total cash costs of
$2.08 per pound. Barrick sold 119 million pounds of copper at an average realized price of $3.78 per pound.

This resulted in revenues of $3.6 billion in the first quarter, up from $3.08 billion in the same period last year.

As a result of the company’s "strong earnings and cash flow" Barrick increased quarterly dividends by 33 percent, which equates to 80 cents per share from the previous quarterly dividend of 15 cents per share.

The company’s Cortez mine in Nevada produced 0.42 million ounces of gold in the first quarter, exceeding expectations on higher than budgeted grades from the Cortez Hills underground.

At the Goldstrike mine in Nevada, Barrick said production was impacted by increased maintenance activities and construction.
Goldstrike's production is anticipated to be higher in the second half of 2012, primarily due to the mine accessing higher grade underground ore.

The company’s North America unit produced 0.89 million ounces at total cash costs of $485 per ounce in the first quarter.

The Lagunas Norte mine in South America contributed 0.21 million ounces at total cash costs of $284 per ounce. South America operations produced 0.45 million ounces at total cash costs of $421 per ounce in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, in Australia Pacific, production from Barrick’s Porgera mine in the first quarter was impacted by operational disruptions, including power supply interruptions. The Australia Pacific unit produced 0.43 million ounces at total cash costs of $748 per ounce in the first quarter.

At Barrick’s African Barrick Gold mine, first quarter attributable production was 0.11 million ounces at total cash costs of $925 per ounce.

The company’s Zaldívar copper mine in Chile produced 76 million pounds at $1.51 per pound in the first quarter, while its Lumwana mine in Zambia produced 41 million pounds at $3.15 per pound.

Looking forward, Barrick said it expects full year 2012 production to be between 7.3 million ounces of gold and 7.8 million ounces of gold.

In the second half of the year, the company said total copper production is expected to increase to a range of 550 million pounds and 600 million pounds, primarily due to the commencement of mining at the Chimiwungo deposit in Lumwana and the start up of the Jabal Sayid copper project in Saudi Arabia.

Barrick said cash costs for the year should average between $520 and $560 per ounce of gold, reflecting a change in production mix and higher waste stripping, and between $1.90 and $2.20 per pound of copper, reflecting a full year of production at Lumwana and higher royalties in Zambia.

Exploration at Goldrush and Turquoise Ridge in Nevada and at the Lumwana mine in Zambia comprise about 40 percent of the company’s 2012 budget of $450-$490 million.

During the first quarter, Barrick made substantial drilling progress at each of these sites.

The company’s Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic and Pascua-Lama mine in Chile are expected to generate average annual production of 1.5 million ounces of gold and are expected to generate about $2.5 billion in their first full five years.

In other news, Barrick reported the retirement of its Executive VP and COO Peter Kinver, who will be replaced by Igor Gonzales, effective May 2.

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Wed, 02 May 2012 09:24:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/85834/barrick-gold-q1-earnings-rise-3-hikes-dividend-33-28559.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick to sell 20.4% stake in Russian explorer Highland Gold ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/83646/barrick-to-sell-204-stake-in-russian-explorer-highland-gold-24863.html Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX)(NYSE:ABX), the world’s largest gold producer, said Monday that it will sell its 20.4 percent stake in Russian miner Highland Gold (LON:HGM), pulling out of a difficult gold-mining region.

At current prices the stake is worth more than $158 million.

Highland, backed by Russian billionnaire Roman Abramovich, was Barrick’s only Russian asset. The Canadian firm bought the stake almost 10 years ago for access to key projects that are still only in development.

Highland’s shares in London slid six percent after the AIM-listed miner said Barrick's stake was now "non-core to Barrick’s business operations and strategy".

Gold producers are trading at their lowest valuations in about 10 years despite a soaring gold price.

Highland is 40 percent owned by entities linked to Millhouse, Abramovich’s investment vehicle.

Barrick plans to sell its stake in an "orderly process" and will work with Highland's largest shareholder, Primerod, through which Abramovich holds 32 percent of Highland. Abramovich's partner, Eugene Shvidler, owns a further eight percent stake.

Highland also said that due to Barrick's decision to sell its stake, it will lose the right to appoint a board member.

Earlier this year, Highland Gold disclosed that it missed a reduced output forecast for 2011. In November, it had cut its forecast for the year because of difficulties accessing high-grade ore at one of its mines.

The price of gold has more than doubled in the past five years as global economic turmoil sent investors looking for a safe haven. Barrick, present in Russia since 1996, has appointed HSBC as its lead adviser on the stake sale.

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Mon, 13 Feb 2012 09:01:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/83646/barrick-to-sell-204-stake-in-russian-explorer-highland-gold-24863.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold strikes friendly $7.3bn deal for Equinox, trumps Minmetals' previous bid ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/77261/barrick-gold-strikes-friendly-73bn-deal-for-equinox-trumps-minmetals-previous-bid-14036.html Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX)(TSE:ABX) announced Monday that it has reached a friendly agreement to acquire Canadian copper miner Equinox Minerals (TSE:EQN) (ASX:EQN) for C$7.3 billion, a superior proposal over the one launched by China-based Minmetals (HKSE:1208) earlier this month.

Equinox's board has already recommended Barrick's C$8.15-per-share all-cash offer, which represents a  16% premium to the value of Minmetals' hostile C$7.00-per-share proposal, announced in early April.

"The acquisition of Equinox would add a high-quality, long-life asset to our portfolio and is consistent with our strategy of increasing gold and copper reserves through exploration and acquisitions," said Barrick president and CEO Aaron Regent.

"Combined with our Zaldivar mine and Cerro Casale project in Chile, this acquisition would position Barrick with significant production growth potential in two of the most prolific copper-producing regions of the world."

Though based in Canada, Equinox's prime asset is the large-scale Lumwana copper mine in Zambia, which the company acquired in 1999, with current production of 145,000 tonnes per year and a stated mine life of 37 years.

Its other asset is the recently acquired Jabal Sayid copper-gold project in Saudi Arabia, which has first production scheduled for 2012, with a forecast of 60,000 tonnes of copper per annum. Equinox has a combined 5.7 billion pounds of copper reserves, plus an additional 5.5 billion pounds of inferred copper resources at Lumwana.

As part of the Barrick deal, Equinox said it has agreed to withdraw its hostile takeover bid for Lundin Mining (TSE:LUN), a condition that was also worked into the Minmetals offer.

Toronto-based Barrick's C$8.15 per share proposal represents a 30% premium to Equinox's share price on February 25, the day before the copper producer announced its offer for Lundin.

President and CEO of Equinox, Craig Williams, said in a statement Monday that Barrick's offer allows shareholders to realize immediate value: "We believe [Barrick's] offer is superior to the public proposal made by Minmetals in terms of certainty and value. Given the immediate value creation opportunity, we are recommending our shareholders tender to the Barrick offer."

Barrick, with 25 operating mines under its belt, said the deal is expected to be immediately accretive to its cash flow and earnings on a per share basis. Under the transaction, Equinox has agreed to pay Barrick a break fee of C$250 million if it accepts a superior proposal.

The deal is not subject to any financing conditions, as Barrick has sufficient cash resources and committed loans to fund the offer, including a $5.0 billion bridge loan and revolving credit facility from RBC Capital Markets and Morgan Stanley.

Barrick already holds roughly 18.2 million Equinox shares, which represents an approximate 2% stake.



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Mon, 25 Apr 2011 08:31:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/77261/barrick-gold-strikes-friendly-73bn-deal-for-equinox-trumps-minmetals-previous-bid-14036.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold’s fourth quarter profit tops analyst expectations ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/76340/barrick-golds-fourth-quarter-profit-tops-analyst-expectations-12392.html Barrick Gold’s (TSE:ABX, NYSE:ABX) fourth quarter earnings surged to top analyst estimates as higher gold and copper prices helped lift results.


For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, the company reported a net income of $896 million, or 90 cents a share, up from $215 million, or 21 cents a share, for the year-ago period.


Adjusted net income, which excludes one-time charges, rose 57% to $947 million, or 95 cents a share, exceeding the 89 cents a share estimated by analysts.  The company earned adjusted earnings of
$604 million, or 61 cents a share, in the same period in 2009. 


Meanwhile, sales rose 25% year-over-year to $2.95 billion, topping analyst estimates of $2.82 billion. 


For the fourth quarter, the company produced 1.70 million ounces, a 9% year-over-year decrease, at total cash costs of $486 per ounce. 


Copper production came in at 82 million pounds, a 16% year-over-year decline, at a cash cost of $1.12 per pound. 


The average realized gold price rose 22% to $1,368 per ounce while the average realized copper price rose nearly 33% to $3.99 per pound. 


At quarter end, proven and probable gold reserves were 139.8 million ounces.  Measured and indicated gold resources increased by 24% to 76.3 million ounces while inferred gold resources grew by18% to 37.2 million ounces. 


The company also said today pre-production cost for the Pueblo Viejo project is expected to rise 10% to 15% to a range of $3.3 to $3.5 billion.


 Also, the pre-production cost of the Pascua-Lama is expected to rise 10% to 20% to a range of $3.3 to $3.6 billion. 


For 2011, gold production is expected to be in the range of 7.6 to 8 million ounces at total cash costs of $450 to $480 per ounce.  The company also expects to produce 300 million pounds of copper at a cash cost of $1.35-$1.45 per pound. 


2011 capital expenditures are expected to be in the range of $2.1 to $2.3 billion, as the company continues work at the Pueblo Viejo and Pascua-Lama projects.


Since the announcement, the company’s shares have rallied 1.9% to trade at $50.65 as of 9:50 am EST on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Thu, 17 Feb 2011 10:06:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/76340/barrick-golds-fourth-quarter-profit-tops-analyst-expectations-12392.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold achieves record Q3 profit as gold prices rise ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/74533/-barrick-gold-achieves-record-q3-profit-as-gold-prices-rise--9585.html Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX)(TSX:ABX), the world's largest producer of the yellow metal, posted a record profit for the third quarter, as lower-than-expected cash costs and higher gold prices boosted overall production.

During the period, the company recorded net income of $837 million, or $0.85 per share, from a loss of $5.4 billion, or $6.07 per share, in the year-ago quarter, when the company had $5.7 billion in charges related to the elimination of its gold hedging program.

Adjusted for one-time items, profits rose 75% to $829 million in the third quarter, or $0.84 per share, beating analyst expectations of $0.76 earnings per share.

Sales also jumped 40% to $2.8 billion in the period, compared to $2.0 billion a year earlier.

Barrick said that its better-than-expected results were primarily a result of the company's third quarter gold production of 2.06 million ounces, ahead of target on account of lower total cash costs of $454 per ounce, and strong performance at its new Cortez Hills mine in the North American region.

In a statement, the company said its cash margins have reaped the benefits of rising gold prices and lower cash costs, increasing 52% to $783 per ounce. The realized gold price for the quarter was $1,237 per ounce, 27% higher than the prior year period.

Full year gold production is on track, Barrick added, expecting between 7.65 to 7.85 million ounces of gold at total cash costs of about $455 per ounce. It also anticipates producing about 360 million pounds of copper at total cash costs of $1.10-$1.15 per pound, in line with the original guidance.

The giant gold producer expects that its Pueblo Viejo project in the Dominican Republic will begin initial production in the fourth quarter of 2011, while its Pascua-Lama property on the border of Chile and Argentina is on track to enter production in the first quarter of 2013. The company is targeting growth in gold production to 9.0 million ounces annually within five years once both these project come onstream, it said.

Based on the third quarter results, Barrick announced that its board has authorized a 20% increase in fourth quarter dividends to $0.12 per share. At quarter-end, the company had a whopping $4.3 billion in cash and $1.5 billion in undrawn credit, with $3.1 billion in net debt.

Barrick, from its properties across North and South America, Africa and the Australia Pacific regions, has gold reserves of 139.8 million ounces, plus measured and indicated gold resources of 61.8 million ounces and inferred gold resources of 31.6 million ounces.

The company's closing price yesterday was $46.94, up from its 52-week low of $36.01.

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Thu, 28 Oct 2010 13:55:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/74533/-barrick-gold-achieves-record-q3-profit-as-gold-prices-rise--9585.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold remains bullish on gold price, affording higher dividend and large capex program ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/73564/barrick-gold-remains-bullish-on-gold-price-affording-higher-dividend-and-large-capex-program-7296.html Dorothy Kosich, Mineweb.com

In a conference call with analysts Thursday, Barrick CFO Jamie Sokalsky stressed  The company believes the gold price supportive macroeconomic environment will continue in the future, thanks to monetary reflation, fiscal policies and sovereign debt concerns, and trade and current account imbalances.

Meanwhile, Sokalsky noted investment demand has continued to be strong, and forecast that central banks will continue to be net buyers of gold.

He predicted mine supply will continue to contract despite what he called a "significant upswing in exploration spending."

Barrick CEO Aaron Regent's presentation during the conference call stressed three projects in feasibility: Reko Diq in Pakistan; Donlin Creek in Alaska, and Kabanga in Tanzania, considered one of the world's largest undeveloped nickel sulfide deposits.

Despite the current political turmoil and terrorism in Pakistan, Regent said the initial mine development feasibility study, along with an environmental and social impact assessment are being finalized. The feasibility study indicates pre-production capex of $3.3 billion based on a 120,000tpd processing plant. Barrick's share of average annual production for the first five full years of operations is expected to be 100,000 ounces of gold and 150 million to 160 million pounds of copper.

At the Barrick/NovaGold Donlin Creek joint venture, further optimization studies now primarily focus on the potential to use natural gas as a fuel source in order to reduce operating costs. Feasibility study revisions, which will include the natural gas option, are expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2011.

Barrick says it remains on track with its original full year production guidance of 7.6 million to 8 million ounces of gold.  For the first six months of this year, Barrick reported gold production of 4,005,000 ounces, up from 3.62 million ounces for the first half of 2009.

Copper production for the first half of this year was reported to be 198 million pounds, up from 176 million pounds for the same period of 2009.

Second quarter gold production was reported at 1.94 million ounces was ahead of plan "primarily due to th4e strong performance from Cortez, Goldstrike, and Lagunas Norte," the company said. Copper production was reported at 102 million pounds for the second quarter.

FINANCIALS

Barrick reported a 59% increase in second-quarter net income to a record $783 million or 79-cents per share, up from $492 million and 56-cents a share for the same period of 2009. Adjusted net income for the second-quarter 2010 was reported at $759 million or 77-cents per share, up 76% from the $431 million or 56-cents/sh reported during the second quarter of 2009.

For the first six months of this year, Barrick reported a net income of $1.54 billion or $1.56/sh, up from $863 million or 99-cents/sh reporting during the first half of 2009. Adjusted net income for the first half of this year was reported at $1.5 billion and $1.55/sh, up from $732 million or 84-cents per share a year ago.

Barrick's Board of Directors authorized a quarterly dividend of 12-cents per share, a 20% increase from the previous dividend. "The company expects to move from a semi-annual dividend to a quarterly dividend going forward."

"The company's positive outlook on the gold price, combined with a strong financial position, quarter-end cash of $3.9 billion and $2.1 billion of operating cash flow in H12010, has allowed Barrick to continue to make high return investments in its project pipeline and at the same time increase its dividend," the company said in its financials.

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Fri, 30 Jul 2010 18:00:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/73564/barrick-gold-remains-bullish-on-gold-price-affording-higher-dividend-and-large-capex-program-7296.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick Gold signs joint venture to explore Coppermoly's Papua New Guinea tenements ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/71217/barrick-gold-signs-joint-venture-to-explore-coppermolys-papua-new-guinea-tenements-2652.html Shares in PNG copper explorer Coppermoly (ASX: COY) jumped more than 40 per cent on the back of news the company had signed an agreement with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX), one of the world’s largest mining companies.

Barrick Exploration has teamed up with Coppermoly and its subsidiary Copper Quest PNG to fund up to $20 million through a Farm-In and Joint Venture Agreement.

Barrick will subscribe for 6.31 million fully paid ordinary shares in Coppermoly Ltd at 9 cents per share – this represents five per cent of the share capital of the company.

The agreement will give Barrick a 72 per cent cut in Coppermoly’s three tenements on New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea, including exploration licenses EL 1043 (Nakru), EL 1077 (Simuku) and EL 1445 (Taleumas).

The three tenements are known to be prospective for a Tier 1 size copper project on the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea.

Following the announcement, shares in Coppermoly were up 4.5c, or 42.9 per cent, to 15c by 1.30pm EST.

As part of the deal, Barrack has committed to a minimum expenditure of $3 million within the first three years.

If Barrick withdraws at any time after it has met the minimum expenditure but before it earns 72% equity in the Farm-in, it will not retain any interest in the exploration licences.

Barrick must sole fund minimum expenditure of $20 million on exploration expenditure within 8 years of commencement date to earn 72% equity.

Coppermoly managing director Peter Swiridiuk said the deal with Barrick provided recognition that his company’s New Britain copper projects had great potential.

“We believe our shareholders will view this arrangement as extremely favourable because not only does it inject significant funds into the company but also, should a major deposit be discovered and developed by Barrick, there will be little or no requirement to dilute shareholder equity in order to fund our 28 per cent share until a feasibility study is completed,” Mr Swiridiuk sad.

“Barrick have indicated they intend to pursue exploration under the letter agreement.”

He said Coppermoly would be “cashed up” with $2.8 million once the deal is signed off.

The LA is conditional on the completion of due diligence by Barrick by 5pm on November 8.

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Mon, 12 Oct 2009 03:45:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/71217/barrick-gold-signs-joint-venture-to-explore-coppermolys-papua-new-guinea-tenements-2652.html
<![CDATA[News - Barrick CFO Sokalsky optimistic for gold price, gold market ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/70730/barrick-cfo-sokalsky-optimistic-for-gold-price-gold-market-2063.html  

The planned sale of 403 tonnes of IMF gold within a new European central bank gold agreement may prove good for the gold price, Barrick Gold CFO Jamie Sokalsky told analysts Thursday.

"With just two months to go until the Central Bank Gold agreement expires, signatories have only sold 140 tonnes, well under the 500-tonne cap," Sokalsky noted during a conference call to discuss Barrick's financial results.

"And as we heard just yesterday, a senior IMF official mentioned that future IMF sales will take place within a new Central Bank gold agreement currently being negotiated. And sales could take place over two to three years," he said. "Some analysts have also speculated that China might be interested in buying some or all of the IMF gold."

"So we continue to be very optimistic for the gold price and against this background for the strong gold price market, Barrick is positioned to be a major beneficiary," Sokalsky asserted.

In its second-quarter 2009 financial results, Barrick suggested, "We believe that the outlook for global gold mine production continues to be one of declining supply. "

"The primary drivers for the global decline are a trend of lower grade production by many producers; increasing delays and impediments in bringing projects-especially large scale projects-to the production stage; a lack of global exploration success in recent years; and a dearth of new, promising regions for gold exploration and production," the company said.

"A decrease in global industry production raises the potential for a higher sustainable long term gold price," Barrick officials advised.

Barrick gold production for the second quarter was reported at 1,866,000 ounces, up slightly from the second-quarter 2008 gold production of 1,857,000 ounces. For the first six months of this year, gold production was nearly flat at 3,621,000 ounces, compared to 3.6 million ounces of production for the first half of last year.

The world's largest gold miner expects to meet its 2009 operating guidance of between 7.2m and 7.6m ounces of gold for total cash costs of $450/$475/oz and between 375m to 400m pounds of copper at total cash costs of $1.25-$1.35/lb.

The total cash costs for gold mined during the second quarter of this year rose to $452/oz. up from $434/oz during the second-quarter 2008. For the first six months of this year total cash costs rose to an average of $467/oz, a $52/oz increase over the first six months of 2008 when total cash costs were reported at $415/oz.

During Barrick's conference call Thursday, Barrick President and CEO Aaron Regent said, "We're at a point now where we believe this trend will start to reverse. The biggest impact will come from the commissioning of our next generation of projects which will all be produced at lower cash cost than our current production. But we will also benefit from our efforts to reduce cost and improve efficiencies as well as some lower commodity prices and a less competitive marketplace compared to the last few years."

Copper production was up to 96 million pounds during the second quarter 2009, compared to 87 million pounds for the second quarter of 2008. For the first six months of this year, copper production was reported at 191 million pounds up from 174 million pounds during the first half of 2008. Total cash costs for copper averaged $1.25/lb during the second quarter of this year, up from $1.08/lb a year ago. For the first half of this year total average copper cash costs were $1.28, up from $1/lb for the first six months of 2008.

Barrick's remaining 2009 copper production is protected from declines in spot prices through the use of forwards and collars.

For the first six months of this year, adjusted net income was $732 million or 84-cents per share, down 25%  from the 1H08 adjusted net income of $981million ($1.13/sh). Second-quarter 2009 adjusted net income was reported at $431 million (49-cents/sh), down from adjusted net income of $442 million (51-cents/sh) reported during the same period a year ago.

In the company's quarterly financial results, Barrick said, "The decrease in net income was primarily driven by higher cash costs and lower copper prices. These decreases were partially offset by lower project development expense and lower income tax expense.

"The decline in income tax expense includes a $70 million currency translation gain, recorded in first quarter 2009 on deferred tax assets due to an election to adopt a US dollar functional currency for Canadian tax purposes."

For the second quarter of this year, Barrick said, "The significant adjusting items consist of a $72 million gain recognizing on the acquisition of the additional 50% interest in our Hemlo gold mine in the second quarter 2009; a $42 million gain on the sale of our asset backed commercial paper in second quarter 2008; and the impact of unrealized gains/losses on non-hedge derivative instruments."

For the first half of the year significant adjusting items included: gains on Hemlo and the ABCP; a $70 million currency translation gain on deferred tax assets due to an election to adopt a US dollar functional currency for Canadian tax purposes; and the impact of unrealized gains/losses on non-hedge derivative instruments.

On July 6, 2009, Barrick finalized an agreement with Bendigo Mining to divest Barrick's Henty mine for $4 million cash and $2 million in Bendigo shares as well as a future project royalty capped at $17 million. The company will realize a gain of $7 million in the third quarter as a result of the transaction.

 

Mineweb is a web-based international mining publication focusing on mining financial and corporate news and comment.

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Fri, 31 Jul 2009 14:06:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/70730/barrick-cfo-sokalsky-optimistic-for-gold-price-gold-market-2063.html