Barrick sees lower prices for copper in Q2

Small toy figure and gold imitation are seen in front of the Barrick logo in this illustration
A small toy figure and gold imitation are seen in front of the Barrick logo in this illustration taken November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

July 14 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), said on Thursday it expects lower realized copper prices in the second quarter, after a dip in the metal prices recently on fears of a recession from aggressive monetary policy tightening across countries.

Lower demand for the metal from top metals consumer China due to COVID-19 lockdowns also weighed on benchmark copper prices, often considered an economic bellwether, during the quarter.

Barrick said average market price for copper in the quarter ended June 30 was $4.32 per pound, lower than $4.53 in the first quarter, but the closing price at the end of the quarter was $3.83 per pound.

The company, scheduled to release results on Aug. 8, said June quarter average realized copper prices were expected to be 13%-15% below the average market prices.

Strong output at the company's Lumwana mine in Zambia, however, boosted its copper production by over 18% to 120 million pounds in the quarter.

Barrick, the world's second-biggest gold miner, also said it expects all-in sustaining costs of gold (AISC), a key industry metric that reflects total costs associated with production, to be 3% to 5% higher than the first quarter.

The company's preliminary gold production stood at 1.04 million ounces in the quarter, up 5.4% from the previous quarter, driven by stronger performance at its Carlin and Turquoise Ridge mines in Nevada.

Average market price for gold in the quarter was $1,871 per ounce, down from $1,877 per ounce in the previous quarter.

Barrick's U.S.-listed shares, which have lost 13% this year, were down 2% in premarket trade. Spot gold prices were hovering near a one-year low.

Reporting by Ruhi Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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