Barrick Gold Corporation remains on track to achieve its 2022 production guidance despite some short-term operational challenges and rising input costs, president and chief executive Mark Bristow said today.
Presenting the company’s third-quarter results, Bristow said a steady performance had paved the way for a stronger Q4, driven by access to higher grades at Nevada Gold Mines (NGM). Its exploration drive continues to build momentum and Barrick is set once again to grow its reserves net of depletion this year.
Operating cash flow for the quarter was $758 million and was supplemented by the sale of non-core royalty assets. The robust balance sheet supported a $0.10 per share base dividend plus a $0.05 per share performance dividend for a total of $0.15 per share for the quarter. Under the $1 billion share buyback program, $322 million1 of shares have been repurchased to date, or approximately 1% of Barrick’s issued and outstanding shares at the time the program was announced.
“Barrick’s core strategy is one of long-term value creation and our focus remains firmly on this goal. We continue to maintain a strong balance sheet and to develop our wealth of organic growth projects. We also keep a sharp lookout for M&A opportunities, but those that could pass our strict investment filters are few and far between,” Bristow said.
“Sustainability is the cornerstone of our business, as it has been for the past 20 years. We have adopted a holistic and integrated approach to this critical issue, and are not only prioritizing the environment portion of ESG metrics. This is more attuned to the ethical and developmental needs of many of our host countries, and is already delivering results,” Bristow said.
Highlights of the quarter include the completion of the public comment phase of NGM’s Goldrush project and continuing progress with the Pueblo Viejo expansion project, designed to extend the life of the mine beyond 2040 at an annual production rate in excess of 800,000 ounces of gold (100% basis).14 The definitive agreements on the Reko Diq copper-gold project in Pakistan have been finalized and the process now moves onto its legalization and closing stage, with potential production from 2027/2028.
Barrick continues to build its copper portfolio with strong performances from Jabal Sayid in Saudi Arabia and Lumwana in Zambia, where ongoing exploration is pointing to the potential for a superpit which could extend the mine’s life to 2060.
At NGM, the North Leeville target has reported a maiden inferred resource of 700,000 ounces (100% basis as of December 31, 2021)18 and is set for further growth. Bristow says Barrick is looking at other opportunities in Nevada and elsewhere in North America. In Africa, key structures in the Loulo district are demonstrating the potential for further discoveries and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kibali’s prolific KCD structure continues to deliver growth.
“Barrick is successfully executing its strategy to create the world’s most valued gold and copper mining company through the performance of its peerless asset portfolio and a pipeline of high-quality organic growth prospects. This is evident in its industry-leading and sustainable shareholder returns, delivered in a disciplined dividend framework,” Bristow said.