Warren Buffett’s Berkshire buys Barrick Gold shares

The Pueblo Viejo gold mine in the Dominican Republic. Source: Barrick Gold Corp.

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Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX-TSX; GOLD-NYSE] shares rallied Monday August 17 following reports that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has added shares of the world’s second largest gold miner to its portfolio.

According to a regulatory filing, Berkshire has taken a new position in Barrick by adding 20.9 million shares or 1.2% of the company, with a current market value of US$565 million.

The move follows a correction in the price of gold and silver last week, triggered by COVID-19 vaccine hopes, better-than-expected U.S. data, a stronger dollar, and rising real yields. The yellow metal had previously been trading close to record highs and on Monday was priced at US$1,983.70/oz, up US$51.25 on the day.

Buffett, billionaire Berkshire Chairman, has previously been cautious about investing directly in gold. So, this investment is viewed as an endorsement of an industry where producers are benefiting from the surging bullion price. That in turn is providing a boost to bottom line profits after costs in the industry have steadied in recent years.

On Monday, Barrick shares jumped 11.18% or $4.00 to $39.79 and currently trade in a 52-week range of $17.53 and $40.62.

Barrick Gold emerged as the world’s second largest gold producer last year after completing a merger with Randgold Resources. It has mining operations and projects in 15 countries, including Canada, Argentina, Chile, the DRC, Senegal and the US.

However, the company said its crowning achievement was the decision to combine its Nevada assets with those of Newmont Goldcorp Corp., [NGT-TSX; NEM-NYSE].  Nevada Gold Mines, an entity owned 61.5% by Barrick and 38.5% by Newmont Goldcorp, is now the world’s single largest gold mining complex. Consisting of eight mines and associated infrastructure, it is capable of producing 3.5 million ounces of gold annually.

Barrick said this area is going to be one of its main hunting grounds this year and beyond.

Meanwhile, Barrick has said it is making significant progress towards its goal of becoming the world’s most valued gold company.

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