27 Apr 2013
Saturday, April 27, 2013 No comments
Canada based Barrick Gold, one of the world’s top gold miners by market capitalization, has reduced its key price assumptions for gold, copper and silver in 2013 due to lower than expected prices in Q1 and the downside trend that followed in April.
The price of gold and copper are the main drivers of Barrick's profitability and cash flow, while the silver price is relevant for the economics of its Pascua Lama project on the Chilean-Argentine border.
Gold production fell 4.5% to 1.797 million ounces, while gold sales remained essentially flat at 1.747 million.
Barrick produced 1.80Moz of gold in Q1 at all-in sustaining and had total cash costs of $919/oz and $561/oz, respectively.
Full year gold production guidance is 7.0M-7.4Moz at total cash costs of $610-$660/oz. Full year all-in sustaining cost guidance has been reduced to $950-$1,050/oz from the previous guidance of $1,000-1,100/oz, Barrick said in its results report.
Barrick originally set a gold price forecast of $1,700/oz for this year. The new estimate sees gold averaging $1,450/oz in 2013.
Although silver prices do not significantly impact Barrick's operating earnings, cash flows or gold total cash costs, they will have "a significant impact on the overall economics" of the Pascua Lama project, which is to produce 35Moz of silver in its first five years.
Barrick was expecting an average silver price of $32/oz in 2013 but has lowered the forecast to $24/oz.
Silver averaged $30.11/oz in Q1 but April has seen a steady drop in price. Silver closed at $22.91/oz on Wednesday.
Barrick has hedge protection on 65Moz of silver from 2013-18, inclusive, with an average floor price of $23/oz and an average ceiling price of $53/oz.
Courtesy : Bullionstreet
Gold prices fell in U.S. trading on Friday after investors locked in gains and sold for profits.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for June delivery were down 0.56% at USD1,453.75 a troy ounce in U.S. trading on Friday, up from a session low of USD1,448.05 and down from a high of USD1,484.75 a troy ounce.
Gold futures were likely to test support USD1,403.55 a troy ounce, Monday's low, and resistance at USD1,484.75, the earlier high.
Reports of increased physical demand for gold in Asia as well talk of rising demand from central banks pushed up gold prices earlier until investors sold the metal for profits.
U.S. data also hiked up gold prices before profit taking kicked in.
In the U.S. earlier, the Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed in a preliminary report that the U.S. gross domestic product rose 2.5% in the first quarter, missing expectations for a 3.0% increase though an improvement from a 0.4% rise in the previous quarter.
The news weakened the dollar by fueling sentiments that the Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus programs will stay in place for longer than expected.
Stimulus tools such as the Fed's monthly USD85 billion bond-buying program weaken the greenback to spur recovery, which makes gold an attractive hedge.
Elsewhere, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to 76.4 in April, from a reading of 72.3 the previous month, beating expectations for an increase to 73.2.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for May delivery was down 1.40% at USD23.803 a troy ounce, while copper for May delivery was down 1.84% and trading at USD3.178 a pound.
Courtesy : Investing.com