Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX-TSX, GOLD-NYSE] on Tuesday reported preliminary full-year and fourth quarter production results for 2022. The announcement follows a recent surge in the price of the yellow metal.
The company said fourth quarter production came in 13% higher than the previous quarter with preliminary gold production for the year reaching 4.14 million ounces. That was about 1% lower than investors were guided to expect.
Preliminary copper production came in a 440 million pounds for 2022, which was in line with the guidance range of 420 million to 470 million pounds.
Preliminary fourth quarter results show sales of 1.11 million ounces of gold and 99 million pounds of copper as well as production of 1.12 million ounces of gold and 96 million pounds of copper.
The average market price for gold and copper in the fourth quarter was US$1,726 an ounce and US$3.63 respectively. However, spot gold prices have climbed above US$1,900 an ounce, surging by about 18% since early November as inflationary pressures recede and markets anticipate less aggressive monetary policy from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Barrick has gold and copper mining operations and projects in 13 countries in North and South America, Africa, Papua New Guinea and Saudi Arabia.
The portfolio includes half of the world’s top 10 tier one gold assets (defined as having a mine life of over 10 years, at least 500,000 ounces of annual production and in the bottom half of global total cash costs).
They include Cortez and Goldstrike in Nevada, Kibali in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Loulo-Gounkoto in Mali, and Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic.
Another key asset is Barrick’s Nevada Gold Mines operation. Nevada Gold Mines, established in July 2019, is owned 61.5% and operated by Barrick Gold. Newmont Corp. [NGT-TSX, NEM-NYSE] holds the other 38.5%.
The joint venture ranks as the largest global gold producing complex by a wide margin, with three of the world’s top 10 Tier One gold assets (Goldstrike/Carlin, Cortez and Turquoise Ridge/Twin Creeks) and potentially another one in the making (Goldrush).
Barrick said preliminary fourth quarter gold production improved from the third quarter and was the highest quarter for the year with stronger performances from Cortez, Carlin and Tongon (Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa). That was partially offset by lower production at Pueblo Viejo, which finished the year well within guidance.
The company said preliminary fourth quarter copper production was lower than the third quarter, driven by higher waste stripping, lower throughput as well as lower grades at its Lawana mine in Zambia.
Barrick said it will provide additional discussion and analysis regarding its full-year and fourth quarter 2022 production and sales when the company reports its quarterly and full year results before the opening of North American markets on February 15, 2023.
On January 16, 2023, Barrick shares closed at $26.10 and currently trade in a 52-week range of $33.50 and $17.88.