TSX listed Barrick Gold Corporation, which posted its third strong quarter in a row, said it was on track to deliver production at the higher end and costs at the lower end of its guidance ranges for the year.
The company’s third quarter (Q3) results show net earnings per share of $1.30, adjusted net earnings per share1 of $0.15, up 67% on Q2 on the back of a higher gold price, and debt net of cash down 14% at $3.2 billion after payment of the dividend. The quarterly dividend was increased by 25% to $0.05 per share on the back of the robust operational performance and the growth in cashflows.
It said that its Nevada Gold Mines joint venture delivered a solid performance against plan in what was its inaugural quarter of operation. “There was an improved performance at a lower cost from Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic, where its plant expansion pre-feasibility study is heading for completion by the end of this year.”
With regard to Loulo-Gounkoto in Mali, and Porgera in Papua New Guinea, both operations also posted robust results. Continued efficiency improvements increased the group’s copper production by 15% quarter on quarter.
Following the Acacia buy-out, it stated that it had, together with the Tanzanian government, agreed in principle on a settlement of that company’s tax and fiscal issues. It said that a dedicated team is currently working on evaluating and stabilising the North Mara and Bulyanhulu mines.
Barrick president and CE Mark Bristow said lean, agile management teams had built on a return to the basics of mineral resource management to deliver performance improvements across the group, as well as a range of new opportunities. These included a major new discovery at Fourmile in Nevada, Life of Mine extensions at Porgera and Veladero, and the confirmation of a wide-ranging geological upside.
“We have prepared detailed five-year plans for each region which we are sharing with the market this quarter. These will be followed by a 10-year production plan, scheduled for publication with our next annual report. The objective is to make capital allocation, budgeting and forecasting more dynamic. This, combined with the roll-out of our new information management systems, will enable us to use real-time data availability for real-time decision-making,” he said.
Barrick has also moved the ownership of orebody modelling, reserve and resource estimation and mine planning to the operations, with oversight from the corporate executive, in line with its policy of effective on-site management and a flat organizational structure.
Bristow said the planned disposal of non-core assets was progressing as scheduled and was expected to realise $1.5 billion or more by the end of next year.
“These are exciting times with lots of opportunities to deliver real value for our owners and stakeholders, and Barrick is strongly placed to take full advantage of these,” he said.
Barrick Gold Corporation also announced that its Board of Directors has declared a dividend for the third quarter of 2019 of $0.05 per share, a 25% increase on the previous quarter’s dividend, payable on December 16, 2019 to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 29, 2019.9
Senior Executive Vice-President and CFO Graham Shuttleworth said Barrick’s business continued to perform well and the increased dividend reflected its strong operating performance and growth in cash flows and is consistent with the Company’s stated financial and operating objectives.