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Barrick Gold posts strong fourth quarter earnings

Michelle Cook

Nevada News Group

Newmont's Twin Creeks open pit mine in Humboldt County was one of many assets folded into the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture, which became official July 1 and merged Barrick Gold Corporation and Newmont Goldcorp Corporation into one company.
Photo: Joshua Borough

WINNEMUCCA, Nev. — Barrick Gold Corporation recently announced its results for the 2019 fourth quarter and the year, reporting net earnings per share of $2.26 for the year and noting its adjusted net earnings per share were up 46% year over year, while debt net of cash was halved from 2018 to $2.2 billion.

The quarterly dividend increased by 40% from Q3, to $0.07 cents per share, which was itself a 25% increase from Q2.

A Feb. 12 press release sent out by the company says the strong performance is due in part to the joint venture of Newmont Goldcorp and Barrick Gold to create Nevada Gold Mines, which included the Twin Creeks and Turquoise Ridge mines joining forces.

The Nevada Gold Mines joint venture went into effect July 1, 2019. According to the Feb. 12 release, during a presentation in Toronto, Barrick Gold President and CEO Mark Bristow said the successful formation of Nevada Gold Mines resulted in the North American operations delivering at the midpoint of its production and cost guidance ranges.

“We started the year with five Tier One gold mines and ended it with six, thanks to the Nevada deal,” Bristow said. “We’ve also succeeded in replenishing our reserves and resources, net of depletion, at a higher grade.”

The joint venture created the world’s largest gold-producing complex, with three of the world’s top 10 Tier One gold assets — Goldstrike/Carlin, Cortez and Turquoise Ridge/Twin Creeks.

Barrick’s production numbers for Nevada Gold Mines show the company’s 61.5 percent share of the venture. Newmont Corp. owns the other 38.5 percent; Newmont’s production numbers will be released at a later date.

Barrick’s preliminary numbers say the company’s share of Nevada Gold Mines will produce 585,000 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter of 2019, up from 535,000 ounces in the third quarter. Barrick’s Nevada Gold Mines operations produced a total of 2.22 million ounces of gold in 2019.

In all, Nevada Gold Mines produced a total of 870,000 ounces of gold in the third quarter of 2019, and based on Barrick’s preliminary numbers, the joint venture may produce a total of 951,000 ounces in the fourth quarter. That’s an increase of 9%.

Bristow said the company’s growth potential will support a 10-year production plan, which the company will be sharing in March. 

“We believe that our ability to operate successfully depends on our ability to deliver long-term value to shareholders and other stakeholders, including the host countries,” he said.

Nevada Gold Mines replaces GM at Turquoise Ridge

Two days before Barrick’s earnings were released, Nevada Gold Mines announced that Detlev van der Veen, general manager of the company’s Phoenix operations, was replacing Jason Morin as general manager of Turquoise Ridge.

The managerial shift occurred Feb. 10. Morin held the position for less than a year.

According to a Feb. 10 email statement regarding the change, the move occurred in part due to the joint venture experiencing challenges since last summer.

“Since the formation of the JV, we have been reviewing our organization to better understand how the business should be structured to operate efficiently and effectively,” according to the email. “As a business, we are constantly working to improve our operations and with that inevitably brings change.”

According to previous reports, the Nevada Gold Mines merger allows the company “to capture synergies,” which officials are estimating at up to $500 million per year during the venture’s first five years.

On July 22, three weeks after the venture was made official, Morin told Humboldt County Commissioners that, “the objective of the whole (joint venture) is to add value to the business.”

In the Feb. 10 email announcing Morin’s removal, a company spokesperson wrote, “One of the principles behind founding the joint venture was to have a more flexible and agile organization that allows us to continually evaluate our operations and adapt them readily to the needs of our business … These organizational changes are an example of that concept in action. Detlev’s strong leadership skills and experience will be beneficial to the team at Turquoise Ridge to further execute on our business plan.”


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