(Corrects job title of Brian Greenspun in paragraph 2 to
chairman and chief executive of Greenspun Media Group following
correction from Barrick)
July 30 Barrick Gold Corp lowered its
full-year cost forecast on Wednesday and again trimmed capital
spending as the world's biggest gold producer works to rein in
costs that soared industry-wide between 2008 and 2012, when
bullion was rising.
Barrick also said it appointed J. Michael Evans, the former
vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs Inc, and Brian Greenspun,
the chairman and chief executive of Greenspun Media Group and a
prominent Nevada businessman, as independent directors on its
Toronto-based Barrick this month said it would abolish its
chief executive position, replacing it with two presidents in a
move investors and analysts said cements the authority of its
new executive chairman, John Thornton, a former Goldman Sachs
Barrick earlier reported slightly weaker-than-expected
adjusted net earnings, which fell to $159 million, or 14 cents a
share, in the quarter to end-June from $663 million, or 66 cents
a share, in the same period a year ago.
Analysts expected the company to earn 15.9 cents a share,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Earnings were down on weaker gold prices and lower gold and
copper sales volumes. Results also were reduced by an impairment
charge of $514 million related to the Jabal Sayid copper
project. Barrick this month said it was forming a joint venture
with Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden) to run the
Barrick, which has mines in the Americas, Australia and
Africa, said it was reducing its forecast for 2014 all-in
sustaining costs, the industry cost benchmark, to between $900
and $940 per ounce from a previous forecast of between $920 and
$980 an ounce.
The company also cut its 2014 capital expenditure guidance
range by $200 million, to between $2.2 billion and $2.5 billion.
Barrick and its peers have beaten the cost-cutting drum for
at least a year as the industry tries to restore profits hard
hit in recent years by soaring mine site costs, over-priced
acquisitions and a 28 percent fall in the bullion price last
Barrick produced 1.49 million ounces of gold in the second
quarter, down from 1.81 million ounces a year earlier. The miner
has sold several higher-cost mines over the past year. It kept
unchanged its full-year gold production forecast.
All-in sustaining costs fell to $865 an ounce from $910 an
ounce in the same period a year ago.
Copper production in the second quarter was 67 million
pounds, well down from 134 million pounds in the same quarter
last year, reflecting a partial collapse of the main conveyor at
its Lumwana mine in Zambia. Barrick said the conveyor had been
repaired and normal plant operations resumed this month.
Copper cash costs rose to $2.04 per pound in the quarter
from $1.75 a pound in the second quarter of 2013.
The company did not change its full-year copper production
or cost forecasts.
(Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by David
Gregorio, Leslie Adler, Dan Grebler and Diane Craft)