Barrick Gold unveils $1 billion buyback amidst production growth




In a strategic move reflecting its formidable financial position, Barrick Gold, the world's second-largest gold miner, has announced a buyback program worth $US1 billion. This initiative comes on the heels of the company's recent operational performance, which showcased notable growth in quarterly production figures.

According to the latest reports, Barrick's gold production surged by 1.4% to reach 1.05 million ounces during the quarter. This uptick was accompanied by an encouraging rise in the average realized price per ounce, which climbed to $US1,986. The positive momentum extended to copper production as well, albeit marginally, with output reaching 113 million pounds.

Despite these promising indicators, fourth-quarter revenue slightly missed market expectations, totaling $US3.06 billion, falling just short of the anticipated $US3.08 billion. However, the company's net earnings for the period painted a brighter picture, totaling $US479 million—an improvement from the preceding quarter.

Looking forward, Barrick is optimistic about its growth prospects for 2024. The anticipated return to production of the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea is expected to be a significant contributor to increased gold production, with estimates ranging between 3.9 million ounces and 4.3 million ounces for the year. Moreover, the company forecasts continued robust copper production, with the Porgera mine projected to yield between 50,000 to 70,000 ounces over the course of the year.

Barrick's outlook is bolstered by positive developments in its operational landscape. Nevada Gold Mines, a joint venture with Newmont, experienced a stronger fourth quarter, attributed to higher grades and operational enhancements. Additionally, progress in commissioning the expansion plant at Pueblo Viejo has addressed most equipment failures, further underscoring the company's commitment to operational excellence.

The $1 billion buyback program stands as a testament to Barrick Gold's confidence in its financial stability and growth trajectory. With a strategic focus on optimizing production and capitalizing on market opportunities, the company remains well-positioned to navigate the dynamics of the mining sector in the years ahead.


Name Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.