SMM7, 12 / PRNewswire-FirstCall-Asianet / Toronto-based Barrick Gold of Canada on Wednesday lowered its full-year copper production forecast and raised its production cost forecast, a change that reflects the challenges it faces in the operation of the BYLUMWA mine.
Barrick Gold is likely to lose its position as the world's largest gold producer this year. The company is expected to produce between 4.5 million and 5 million ounces of gold in 2018 at a maintenance cost of $765 to $815 an ounce. But at the same time, estimates from rival Newmont Mining show that 4.9 million to 5.4 million ounces of gold will be produced in 2018.
Barrick forecasts copper prices between $2.55 and $2.85 a pound in 2018, up from previous estimates of $2.30 to $2.60 a pound. Barrick's 2018 copper production forecast has fallen to 345 million to 410 million pounds from an estimated 385 million to 450 million pounds in April. Combined with some plant closures and lower ore grades, the Lumwa mine's performance in the first quarter was undermined.
Barrick Gold plans to report full financial results on July 25. According to preliminary production data, the company produced 83 million pounds of copper in the second quarter, down slightly from the first quarter.
Barrick said gold production was 107 million ounces in the second quarter, but all maintenance costs were 5% or 7% higher because of ongoing repairs at the company's bakery in Nevada and the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic.
At the same time, the company said it expected gold production to increase and production costs to fall in the second half of 2018 compared with the previous six months, as repairs to Barry Nevada and Pueblo Viejo were largely completed. Higher grades of copper will also be mined.
Finally, Barrick noted that the average market price for gold and copper in the second quarter was $1306 an ounce and $3.12 a pound of copper.
Translated by Zhang Jingye, (SMM) of Shanghai Colored Network
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