Mining giant Barrick Gold Corp reported yesterday that first-quarter adjusted earnings rose from a year ago despite lower production, following higher gold prices. Adjusted net earnings jumped 5% to $ 170 million, or 15 cents per share, from $ 162 million, or 14 cents, in the first quarter of 2017. The company reported net earnings of $ 158 million, or 14 cents per share, for the January-March period, down from $ 679 million, or 58 cents, a year ago. However, the prior-year earnings were inflated by a net impairment reversal of $ 1.13 billion ($ 522 million after taxes and non-controlling interest); in connection with Barrick’s divestment of 25% of the Cerro Casale project.
Barrick produced 1.05 million ounces of gold in the first quarter at all-in sustaining costs of $ 804 per ounce. In the year-ago quarter, output was 1.31 million ounces at AISC of $ 772 per ounce. However, the amount of money that Barrick received per gold ounce rose to $ 1,332 per ounce from $ 1,220. It produced 85 million pounds of copper in the first quarter, down from 95 million in the year-ago period. AISC rose to $ 2.61 per pound from $ 2.19. However, the average realized price rose to $ 2.98 per pound from $ 2.76.
Barrick expects gold production in the second quarter to be roughly in line with the first quarter at around 1 million ounces, mainly due to the impact of a scheduled maintenance shutdown at the Barrick Nevada roaster. The company maintained full-year copper production guidance of 385 million to 450 million pounds at AISC of $ 2.30 to $ 2.60 per pound.