(Recasts; adds quote, Pierina mine life extension, details)
LIMA, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO said Friday it sees production at its two Peruvian mines falling this year as it gets into lower ore grades, and that it expects to extend the life of its Pierina mine to the middle of 2013.
The company, which operates the Lagunas Norte and the Pierina gold mines in Peru, is the world’s largest gold producer.
Barrick expects 2010 gold output at Lagunas Norte to hit 850,000 ounces, down from the 1,007,000 ounces in 2009, said Luis Pino, head of Barrick communications in Peru.
He said the company forecasts Pierina to produce 220,000 ounces of gold this year, from the 271,000 ounces in 2009, and that the mine’s life should extend through the middle of 2013 as a result of successful in-fill drilling.
Pino said an earlier estimate had predicted Pierina would close in 2011.
Peru ranks sixth in global gold production. (Reporting by Patricia Velez; Writing by Dana Ford; Editing by John Picinich)
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