Nine Drill Rigs Continue On Cortez Hills Lower Zone
TORONTO, ON - Barrick Gold reported - Third quarter gold production was 1.93 million ounces at total cash costs of $370 per ounce, and copper production was 99 million pounds at total cash costs of $0.91 per pound. Barrick currently expects full year production of approximately 8.1 million ounces of gold at total cash costs of about $350 per ounce and 400 million pounds of copper at total cash costs of about $0.90 per pound, in line with original 2007 guidance.
In Q3 2007, Barrick produced 1.93 million ounces of gold at total cash costs
of $370 per ounce. As expected, Q3 was a higher cost quarter due to waste
stripping and mine sequencing at a number of operations, including
activities to access higher grade ore at Veladero. The realized gold price
was $681 per ounce, 21% higher than a year ago, and in line with the average
third quarter spot price of $680 per ounce.
The Company also produced 99 million pounds of copper at total cash costs of
$0.91 per pound during Q3 2007 versus 95 million pounds at total cash costs
of $0.80 per pound in the prior year quarter. The average realized price for
copper sales in Q3 2007 was $3.49 per pound.
Due to mine sequencing this year at a number of operations, average
processed grades are about 10% below reserve grade year-to-date,
representing one of the major factors in the increase in 2007 cash costs
over 2006. Within the next few years, the Company expects a gradual trend
back towards reserve grade to help mitigate other cash cost pressures.
The North American business unit contributed 0.79 million ounces at total
cash costs of $381 per ounce. The Goldstrike complex produced 0.39 million
ounces at cash costs of $388 per ounce as waste stripping continued in the
Betze-Post pit. The underground operation returned to near expected levels
after a transition to zone mining earlier in the year. The Company expects
to process lower grade stockpiles at Goldstrike in the final quarter of the
year as the open pit continues in a high waste stripping phase. The new Ruby
Hill mine continued to ramp up smoothly, producing 51,000 ounces at total
cash costs of $147 per ounce. Production from the Cortez JV exceeded
expectations on higher grades and recoveries, while total cash costs were
under plan at $369 per ounce.
At Cortez Hills, $23 million (100% basis) was spent in Q3 on procurement of
open pit mining equipment, engineering for project infrastructure, and
additional development of the twin declines, which have progressed to 4,420
meters and are ahead of plan. Detailed engineering is more than 90% complete
and delivery of mining equipment is on schedule. The Record of Decision
Release is targeted for the second half of 2008 and construction is expected
to be complete within 15 months of the Record of Decision.
Earnings of $345 million cash flow of $557 million and EBITDA of $710 million compare to prior year earnings of $405 million cash flow of $748 million and EBITDA of $703 million.
"Our operations are delivering all of their production into the spot market
just as gold prices have broken 27-year highs," said Greg Wilkins, President
and CEO. "Despite anticipated higher costs this quarter, Barrick continues
to deliver excellent leverage to the strong gold price."
The company's address is 161 Bay Street, Suite 3700, P.O. Box 212, Toronto, ON M5J 2S1, (416) 861-9911, fax: (416) 861-2492.