Barrick Gold Expects 8.5% Decline in First Quarter Gold Production

Reuters  |

Source: Barrick Gold

(Reuters) - Barrick Gold expects a 8.5% drop in first-quarter gold production, it said on Thursday, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced miners to scale back operations and shutdown mines.

The mining industry has been bracing for a prolonged drop in commodity prices and has been worried that the coronavirus outbreak could fuel a rare simultaneous drop in both supply and demand for metals used to power the global economy.

Barrick said it expects gold output of 1.25 million ounces for the first quarter, compared with 1.37 million ounces a year earlier.

The preliminary figure puts Barrick on course to meet its outlook for the year despite the impact of coronavirus-led lockdowns, Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said.

The miner said last month it would stockpile key commodities to prepare for the possibility that the pandemic could shutter its mines.

Barrick, the world’s second-largest gold miner with operations across the globe, had forecast full-year attributable gold production in the range of 4.8 million ounces to 5.2 million ounces.

Barrick has also been selling less productive mines to focus on so-called Tier 1 assets after its acquisition of Africa-focused Rangold Resources.

Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni.

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Source: Reuters

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