Barrick trims copper guidance, gold forecast intact – by Mariaan Webb( – July 12, 2018)

Toronto, Canada-headquartered Barrick Gold has maintained its gold production guidance for 2018 at between 4.5-million and 5-million ounces, but has slashed 40-million pounds off its copper production guidance, owing to operational challenges at its biggest copper mine – Lumwana, in Zambia.

The miner trimmed its copper production guidance from between 385-million and 450-million pounds, to a range of 345-million to 410-million pounds, at higher-than-initially-thought costs. The all-in sustaining cost (AISC) will increase to between $2.55/lb to 2.85/lb, from an initial guidance of $2.30/lb to $2.60/lb.

The revisions to the copper production and cost guidance primarily reflect operational challenges at Lumwana in the first half of the year, Barrick explained in its preliminary second quarter results announcement, released after the Canadian markets closed on Wednesday.

The miner said production at Lumwana should be higher in the second half of the year, driven by an improvement in grade and improved crusher reliability.

In the first half, Lumwana produced 95-million pounds, accounting for most of the 168-million pounds of copper that Barrick produced in the six months.

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