Barrick Gold (NYSE: GOLD; TSX: ABX) has reported its preliminary second quarter operating results, showing total gold production of 1.04 million oz. and copper production of 120 million lb. During the quarter, it managed to sell all of the gold produced and 113 million lb. of copper.
The gold output represents a 5.4% increase over the first quarter of 2022, which Barrick has said would be its lowest producing quarter this year (990,000 oz.). The improvement in copper output was more significant at 18.8% (101 million lb. over the first quarter last year).
Barrick attributes the increase in gold production to stronger performances across its portfolio, particularly at Carlin, Turquoise Ridge, Veladero, Bulyanhulu and North Mara. This was partially offset by lower production at Cortez due to mine sequencing as it transitions from the end of open pit mining at Pipeline to a new phase at Crossroads, which is expected to underpin stronger performance for the asset in by the end of this year..
Higher second quarter copper production was driven by improvements at Lumwana as planned. However, copper sales were in line with the prior quarter due to the timing of shipments, Barrick added.
As previously announced, Barrick’s gold production in 2022 is expected to increase through the year, and with the strong quarterly performance, the company said it remains on track to achieve 2022 guidance for both metals.
The average market price for gold in the second quarter 2022 was US$1,871/oz., while the average price for copper was US$4.32/lb. However, due declining copper prices near the end of the quarter, Barrick expects its realized copper price to be 13% to 15% below the average second quarter market price. At the end of the second quarter, the closing price for copper stood at US$3.83/lb.
Second quarter gold costs per ounce (total cash costs and all-in sustaining costs) are all expected to be higher. For copper, cash costs per pound are expected to be 5% to 7% lower, while all-in sustaining costs are expected to be in line to 2% higher than the first quarter.
Additional details on Barrick's Q2 2022 performance will be provided when the company reports its quarterly results on Aug. 8. To learn more, visit www.barrick.com.