Clear strategies and strong partnerships set Barrick up to outperform

TORONTO – A strong finish to 2023 boosted Barrick’s full-year gold production to 4.05 million ounces and its copper output to 420 million pounds1 while its Tier One2 gold mines capitalized on a record gold price to deliver a robust financial performance.

Commenting on the annual results here today, president and chief executive Mark Bristow said despite picking up the pace in the latter half of the year, Barrick couldn’t quite make up for the challenges it faced in the first half, and gold production fell slightly short of the annual guidance as flagged with the Q3 results. Nevada Gold Mines had a stronger fourth quarter on the back of higher grades and operational improvements, while Pueblo Viejo advanced the commissioning of the expansion plant, addressing most of the equipment failures.

“In true Barrick fashion, we kept our focus, dealt with the challenges, progressed our long-term strategic plans and delivered on some of our key objectives. Most significantly, we have sustained our industry-leading organic growth outlook and are still projecting a 30% increase in gold equivalent3 production by the end of this decade,” he said.

The 2023 financial results again demonstrated the ability of Barrick’s peerless asset portfolio to create value, Bristow said. Operating cash flows increased year-on-year by 7% to $3.7 billion and free cash flow4 was up by 50% at $646 million. Net earnings increased by 200% to $0.72 per share, and adjusted net earnings5 increased by 12% to $0.84 per share, while the quarterly dividend was maintained at 10 cents per share. Barrick has one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry with almost no net debt.6

Barrick also maintained its record of substantial reserve growth, replacing 109% of its gold reserve depletion and 124% of copper depletion. Since 2019, the continuing success of its brownfields exploration programs has added almost 29 million ounces of attributable proven and probable gold reserves. On a 100% basis across all Barrick-managed properties, this represents an addition of 44 million reserve ounces.14

And importantly, just before the end of the year, Nevada’s Cortez received the U.S. government’s Record of Decision for the Goldrush project and immediately started work on its surface infrastructure accesses. Goldrush is forecast to produce approximately 130,000 ounces of gold this year, rising to 400,000 by 2028.16 The adjoining Barrick-owned Fourmile project is also believed to have Tier One potential with more work and drilling scheduled to advance this project to a PFS decision by the end of 2024.

In the Dominican Republic, the commissioning of the Pueblo Viejo expansion project is on track to be ramped up in Q2 2024 after reconstruction of the feed conveyor. The project is designed to transform Pueblo Viejo into a mine capable of sustaining average annual gold production of more than 800,000 ounces beyond 2040.17 Feasibility work advanced on the giant Reko Diq copper-gold project in Pakistan and the Lumwana Super Pit project in Zambia—both targeting production in 2028. These projects will rank among the world’s largest copper mines, significantly advancing Barrick’s strategic objective of increasing the size and enhancing the quality of its growing copper portfolio.

“If you revisit the strategy we published at the time of the merger five years ago, it’s clear that we’ve met all the targets we set ourselves under the three main headings of asset quality, operational excellence and sustainable profitability. The mining industry is now entering a new era dominated by the demand for the so-called critical minerals and metals, often led by promoters rather than by responsible miners. To survive and grow in this new dynamic will need clear strategies and strong partnerships—both core to Barrick. That is why I believe we’ll continue to demonstrate that our long-term vision differentiates us from our peers and sets us up to outperform them,” Bristow said.

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