GLOBAL – Barrick Gold, the world’s second largest gold miner has announced strong second-quarter financial results boosted by rising gold prices and a strong operational performance from the company’s operations in Africa.

Gold prices have been surging at the back drop of the COVID-19 which has forced many investors to turn to gold at the save haven for their wealth.

Earlier this month, Gold prices smashed the US$2000/oz mark for the first time in 100 years and are expected to trade on the record high prices of US$1980/oz for the remaining part of the year.

According to a report by Mining Weekly Barrick’s adjusted net earnings surged to US$415-million while its free cash flow rose to $522-million during Q2 of 2020.

This was a great improvement when compared to the company’s adjusted net earnings of $285-million in the first quarter and $154-million in the prior-year comparable quarter. 

Barrack Gold noted that its adjusted net earnings a share were 23c, up 44% from the first quarter, a figure which is well ahead of the market consensus.

Free cash flow rose 849% in the June 2020 quarter, from $55-million in the same quarter last year.

Free cash flow in the first half of the year rose 378% to $960-million.

Barrick generated $1.03-billion in net cash in the quarter under review, which president and CEO Mark Bristow said demonstrated the quality of the group’s assets.

Bristow further noted that the company’s impressive performance was also a testimony to management’s ability to capture the full benefit of higher gold prices and the group’s deft handling of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact.

“Our flattened and decentralised management structure was a major factor in contending with Covid-19,” he said in a statement.

At the year’s halfway mark, Barrick was on track to achieve its yearly production guidance, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Second quarter results show year-to-date gold production of 2.4-million ounces, at the mid-point of its 4.6-million to 5-million ounce yearly guidance.

This impressive performance which partly accounted for the company’s increased revenues was driven by strong operating performances, particularly from Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) in the US, Loulo-Gounkoto in Mali and Kibali in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Barrick Gold’s copper portfolio also performed well, with Lumwana, in Zambia, posting its best quarterly production in years.

The gold mining company has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.08 a share, which is a 14% increase on the previous quarter’s dividend.

Mining Weekly noted that Barrick Gold’s quarterly dividend has more than doubled since the announcement of the Barrick-Randgold merger in September 2018.

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