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Barrick (GOLD) Reports Lower Preliminary Production for Q1

Barrick Gold Corporation GOLD reported preliminary first-quarter 2024 production of 940,000 ounces of gold and 40,000 tons of copper, as well as preliminary sales of 910,000 ounces of gold and 39,000 tons of copper.

The production of gold and copper is expected to increase progressively every quarter through 2024, GOLD noted. The Pueblo Viejo expansion is expected to ramp up starting the second quarter, and the restart of the Porgera mine is likely to go as planned.

The average market price for gold in the first quarter was $2,070 per ounce and the average market price for copper was $3.83 per pound.

Preliminary first-quarter gold production was, as anticipated, lower than fourth-quarter 2023, mostly due to mine sequencing at many locations and planned maintenance at Nevada Gold Mines.

The company expects the decreased production to result in 4-6% higher gold cost of sales per ounce in the first quarter, along with 6-8% higher total cash costs per ounce and 7-9% higher all-in sustaining costs per ounce compared to fourth-quarter 2023. As production picks up in the upcoming quarters of the year, costs are expected to decrease.

Lower grades mined at Lumwana in compliance with the mine plan were the main reason for the preliminary first-quarter copper production being lower than fourth-quarter 2023. Due to the decreased production and in accordance with plans, first-quarter copper cost of sales per pound is anticipated to increase 9% to 11%, while C1 cash expenses per pound and all-in sustaining costs per pound are likely to rise 10-12% and 14-16%, respectively, from the prior quarter. Costs are predicted to decline in the upcoming quarters of the year with a pick-up in production.

Barrick will give additional discussion and analysis of its first-quarter 2024 production and sales when it releases its quarterly results before the opening bell on May 1, 2024.

Shares of Barrick have lost 15.1% over the past year compared with a 5% decline of its industry.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Barrick currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space include Denison Mines Corp. DNN, Carpenter Technology Corporation CRS and Ecolab Inc. ECL.

Denison Mines sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). DNN beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters, with the average earnings surprise being 300%. The company’s shares have soared 97.1% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Carpenter Technology currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). CRS beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters while matching it once, with the average earnings surprise being 12.2%. The company’s shares have soared 68.2%% in the past year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Ecolab's current-year earnings is pegged at $6.43 per share, indicating a year-over-year rise of 23.4%. ECL, a Zacks Rank #2 stock, beat the consensus estimate in each of the last four quarters, with the average earnings surprise being 1.7%. The company’s shares have rallied roughly 34.4% in the past year.


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