(Reuters) – Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) (GOLD.N) reported a nearly 55% rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday as gold prices surged, bolstering its ability to snap up mines including in copper, its chief executive said.
Investors’ anxiety about a global economy brought to its knees by the coronavirus pandemic has boosted “safe-haven” gold XAU= by 12% so far this year, while copper CMCU3, seen as a bellwether for economic growth, is down about 15%.
Barrick CEO Mark Bristow has previously said the world’s No. 2 gold miner aims to increase its exposure to copper because of its expected higher use in electrification. He added on Wednesday the relative price performance between copper and gold made deals more attractive.
“(A stronger balance sheet) improves our capacity to take up opportunities that might arise in the short to medium term given the dynamic nature of the global economy,” Bristow told Reuters.
Bristow has previously expressed an interest in acquiring Freeport-McMoran Inc’s (FCX.N) flagship Grasberg mine.