Canada-headquartered Barrick Gold has narrowly missed its full-year gold guidance of 4.2-million ounces, with preliminary figures showing that the company produced 4.14-million ounces in 2022.
This is the third consecutive year in which Barrick reported lower full-year output, with production having reduced from 4.44-million ounces in 2021 and 4.76-million ounces in 2020.
However, copper output of 440-million pounds for 2022 was in line with the guidance range of 420-million to 470-million pounds, and higher than 2021’s production of 415-million pounds.
The fourth quarter was Barrick’s strongest quarter for gold output, with sold performances from Cortez and Carlin, in the US, and Tongon, in Côte d’lvoire. This was partially offset by lower output at Pueblo Viejo, in Dominican Republic, which finished the year “well withing guidance”.
Preliminary fourth-quarter copper production was lower than the third quarter, driven by higher waste stripping, lower throughput, as well as lower grades at Lumwana, in Zambia, as per the mine plan.
Barrick cautioned that its quarterly gold and copper costs would be higher. Compared with the third quarter, fourth quarter cost of sales per ounce would be 4% to 6% higher, total cash costs would be 2% to 4% lower and all-in sustaining costs (AISC) per ounce would be 1% to 3% lower than the prior quarter.
Fourth-quarter copper cost of sales per pound is expected to be 38% to 40% higher, C1 cash costs per pound are expected to be 20% to 22% higher and AISC per pound3 are expected to be 26% to 28% higher.
In addition to lower sales from Lumwana due to the lower production, Zaldívar, in Chile, also had higher input costs and higher sustaining capital.
Barrick would report its full-year results on February 15.
full-year production, with output falling to 4.14-million ounces, missing its guidance of 4.2-million ounces.
On the back of stronger Q4 production, 13% higher than the previous quarter, preliminary gold production for the full year of 4.14 million ounces was approximately 1% lower than the 4.2 million ounces1 previously guided, while preliminary copper production of 440 million pounds for 2022 was in line with the guidance range of 420 to 470 million pounds.