3Q21 operating results position Barrick to meet guidance
Published by Jessica Casey,
Global Mining Review,
Strong 3Q21 production from its Africa and Middle East (AME) and Latin America regions has positioned Barrick Gold to meet the top end of its guidance for the year. At the same time, Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) posted a q/q improvement and, with its Carlin mill operations now restored, is set to end 2021 with an enhanced quarter, positioning Barrick for a strong finish to the year.
The company’s 3Q21 results, published today, report attributable gold production for the quarter of 1.09 million oz and 3.23 million oz for the year to date. Attributable copper production for the quarter was 100 million lbs and 289 million lbs for the year to date. Net earnings per share were US$00.20 and adjusted net earnings per share were US$00.24.
Presenting the results, President and Chief Executive, Mark Bristow, said the operating cash flow of US$1050 million and the free cash flow of US$481 million for 3Q21 would further support an already strong balance sheet and the funding of Barrick’s capital allocation priorities. He noted that the sustainable quarterly dividend of US$00.09 per share and the payment of the final US$250 million tranche of the US$750 million return of capital distribution would combine to lift the total cash return to shareholders to a record level of approximately US$1.4 billion during 2021.
“More than two years after the merger, we are getting to where we want to be, with the industry’s best asset base in the form of six Tier One gold mines and a well-balanced portfolio of high-quality growth opportunities. In Nevada, the publication of an official notice of intent marks another advance in the development of the world-class Goldrush project, where the successful processing of the first bulk samples points to an additional reserve conversion by the end of the year,” he said.
“In Argentina, the commissioning of the new heap leach facility at Veladero, defined as an at-risk asset at the time of the merger, has put the mine back on track to get back to its past performance as it ramps up production. In Tanzania, we have completely revived the moribund Bulyanhulu mine and it too is now back in business and ramping up production. In Alaska, the 2021 drilling programme has been completed at Donlin, one of the largest undeveloped gold deposits in the world, and we’re now updating our models and preparing for an early start to the next phase.”
The Pueblo Viejo expansion project in the Dominican Republic is at the permitting stage for the new tailings storage facility. The project is expected to extend the Tier One mine’s life to beyond 2040 and has the potential to convert approximately 9 million oz of measured and indicated resources to proven and probable reserves.
Bristow said results from successful brownfields exploration, particularly in North America and Africa, indicated that the group is on track to replace its gold reserves net of depletion in 2021. The drive to expand its portfolio and extend its global footprint has added new exploration projects in five countries. Barrick has also been advancing its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategy with NGM starting construction of its solar power plant with initial capacity of 100 MW and the permit received to double this to 200MW, and Veladero completing construction of its cross-border link-up with the Chilean national power grid – a global leader in renewable energy.
“Barrick is driven by value creation and by any measure we’ve been successful so far. But ours is a long-term vision which looks far beyond our major operations’ current 10-year business plans and our ceaseless pursuit of new opportunities is continuing to deliver exciting future prospects,” Bristow added.
Key performance indicators
- Quarter-on-quarter improvement positions Barrick to deliver on annual production guidance.
- Strong production from the AME and Latin America regions places both regions at top end of annual guidance range.
- Nevada shows strong quarter on quarter performance on the back of improved run time at all major processing facilities.
- Carlin mill operations restored at end of the quarter setting up for strong 4Q21.
- Copper assets deliver incremental production and bolster earnings for Barrick.
- Goldrush Notice of Intent published, successful processing of first bulk sample supports additional reserve conversion at year end.
- Balance sheet strength supported by operating cash flow of US$1050 million.
- Net earnings per share of US$00.20; adjusted net earnings per share of US$00.24.
- Porgera makes progress towards reopening.
- South Arturo/Lone Tree asset swap streamlines NGM portfolio and adds value.
- 22% y/y decrease in the year-to-date TRIFR highlights increased focus on safety.
- Year-to-date water efficiency (reuse and recycling) of 83%.
- GHG reduction roadmap advances as NGM gets approval to double solar capacity to 200 MW.
- Veladero completes construction of powerline from Chile.
- Strong project development and brownfields results from North America and AME point to reserve replacement net of depletion for the group.
- Drive to expand portfolio adds exploration projects in five countries.
- Donlin board approves additional funding to advance studies and plan for a winter drilling programme.
- Barrick declares US$00.09 quarterly dividend per share in addition to payment of third US$250 million capital return tranche (approximately US$00.14 per share).
Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/finance-business/05112021/3q21-operating-results-position-barrick-to-meet-guidance/
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