Barrick Achieves 2015 Production Guidance
All amounts expressed in US dollars
Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX)(TSX:ABX) ("Barrick" or the "company") today announced preliminary 2015 full-year production of 6.12 million ounces of gold, in line with the company's updated guidance of 6.0-6.15 million ounces. Preliminary full-year copper production of 511 million pounds also met guidance of 480-520 million pounds.
"We are pleased with the solid performance of our portfolio in 2015," said Barrick President Kelvin Dushnisky. "In addition, we significantly improved our liquidity and strengthened our balance sheet, meeting our $3 billion debt reduction target through disciplined non-core asset sales, partnerships and free cash flow. As a result, we reduced our total debt by 24 percent last year."
Preliminary fourth quarter and 2015 highlights include:
1 Realized average gold price and realized average copper price are non-GAAP financial performance measures with no standardized definition under IFRS. See "Cautionary Statement Regarding Non-GAAP Measures" for additional information.
Barrick is in the process of carrying out its annual accounting impairment review. Preliminary analysis indicates potential goodwill impairment charges of approximately $1.8 billion, and asset impairment charges in the range of $1.0-$1.2 billion primarily related to Pascua-Lama and Pueblo Viejo. For impairment testing purposes, the company will use a gold price assumption of $1,000 per ounce for 2016 and a long-term gold price assumption of $1,200 per ounce.
"In line with our objective of generating positive returns in virtually any foreseeable gold price environment, we have decided to use pricing for our impairment testing that is prudent in current market conditions," said Mr. Dushnisky.
Barrick will report detailed financial and operating results, including final impairment test results, on February 17, 2016, along with a reserve and resource update. Updates on project studies for Goldrush, the Cortez underground expansion, the Lagunas Norte mine life extension and the second shaft option at Turquoise Ridge, will be released in conjunction with Barrick's Investor Day in New York on February 22, 2016.
Conference Call and Webcast
A conference call to discuss the company's financial results will be held on Thursday, February 18 at 11 a.m. ET.
A live webcast and replay of the conference call will be available on Barrick's website at www.barrick.com.
The conference call will be available for replay by phone until March 3 by calling 855-859-2056 for North American callers and +1 404-537-3406 for International callers. The pass code is 22861420.
PRELIMINARY FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR PRODUCTION AND REALIZED PRICES
2 Porgera figures reflect 47.5% ownership after August 31, 2015; Cowal and Ruby Hill figures reflect production to July 23, 2015 and December 17, 2015, respectively; and Zaldívar figures reflect 50% ownership after December 1, 2015.
3 Barrick's equity interest in Acacia was reduced to 63.9% from 73.9% following the partial divestment of shares completed on March 11, 2014.
4 Total 2014 gold mine production includes production from the Plutonic, Kanowna and Marigold mines, which were divested during 2014. Sum of gold mine production figures may not equal total production figures due to rounding.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING NON-GAAP MEASURES
Realized average price as used in this press release is a non-GAAP financial performance measure intended to provide additional information to investors and does not have any standardized definition under IFRS. This measure is used by management to assess the company's ability to generate earnings and cash flow from its portfolio of gold and copper mines. For a detailed description and reconciliation of this measure, please refer to Barrick's Fourth Quarter and Year-End Report 2015 to be released on February 17, 2016.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING 2015 PRODUCTION, REALIZED PRICES AND IMPAIRMENT CHARGES
Barrick cautions that, whether or not expressly stated, all figures contained in this press release including production levels, realized prices and impairment charges are preliminary and reflect our expected 2015 results as of the date of this press release. Actual reported fourth quarter and 2015 results are subject to management's final review as well as audit by the company's independent accounting firm and may vary significantly from those expectations because of a number of factors, including, without limitation, additional or revised information and changes in accounting standards or policies or in how those standards are applied. Barrick will provide additional discussion and analysis and other important information about its 2015 production levels when it reports actual results on February 17, 2016.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT ON FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Certain information contained in this press release, including any information as to our future financial or operating performance, constitutes "forward-looking statements". All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. The words "expect", "will", "may" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the company in light of management's experience and perception of current conditions and expected developments, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Known and unknown factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: fluctuations in the spot and forward price of gold, copper or certain other commodities (such as silver, diesel fuel, natural gas and electricity); discrepancies between actual and estimated production, mineral reserves and resources and metallurgical recoveries and grades of reserves; increased costs, delays, suspensions and technical challenges associated with the construction of capital projects; operating or technical difficulties in connection with mining or development activities, including disruptions in the maintenance or provision of required infrastructure and information technology systems; failure to comply with environmental and health and safety laws and regulations; timing of receipt of, or failure to comply with, necessary permits and approvals; fluctuations in the currency markets; changes in U.S. dollar interest rates; risks arising from holding derivative instruments; changes in national and local government legislation, taxation, controls or regulations and/or changes in the administration of laws, policies and practices, expropriation or nationalization of property and political or economic developments in Canada, the United States and other jurisdictions in which the company does or may carry on business in the future; risk of loss due to acts of war, terrorism, sabotage and civil disturbances; litigation; contests over title to properties, particularly title to undeveloped properties, or over access to water, power and other required infrastructure; business opportunities that may be presented to, or pursued by, the company; increased costs and risks related to the potential impact of climate change; and availability and increased costs associated with mining inputs and labor. Many of these uncertainties and contingencies can affect our actual results and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, us. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. All of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements. Specific reference is made to the most recent Form 40-F/Annual Information Form on file with the SEC and Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities for a discussion of some of the factors underlying forward-looking statements.
The company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise prior to February 17, 2016 except as required by applicable law.