(The Canadian Press) TORONTO – Barrick Gold Corp.
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) lost US$2.83 billion in its latest quarter as the gold miner slashed it reserve estimates and said it expected production this year to fall from 2013.
The company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said Thursday the loss amounted to $2.61 per share in the fourth quarter compared with a loss of $3.0 billion or $3.01 per share a year ago.
Revenue fell to $2.93 billion, down from $4.15 billion.
Barrick said the most recent quarter included some $2.82 billion in impairment charges, primarily related to its Pascua-Lama, Porgera, Veladero and the Australia Pacific gold operations as well as $176 million in other costs at Pascua-Lama.
Excluding the one-time costs, the gold miner said it earned an adjusted profit of $410 million or 37 cents per share compared with an adjusted profit of $1.16 billion or $1.16 a year ago.
Barrick, which has been has been paring down its assets in recent months as it has moved to focus its operations, also said Thursday that it expected to produce between six million and 6.5 million ounces of gold this year. That compared with nearly 7.2 million ounces produced in 2013.
All-in sustaining production costs are also expected to rise to between $920 and $980 per ounce compared with $915 for 2013.
The lower expected production comes as Barrick slashed its gold reserves to 104.1 million ounces at the end of 2013 from 140.2 million ounces at the end of 2012.
The new reserve estimate is based on a $1,100 per ounce price for gold compared with $1,500 per ounce used in the earlier estimate.
Last month, Barrick and Goldcorp announced a deal to sell the Marigold mine in Nevada to Silver Standard Resources Inc
. (TSX: T.SSO
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) for a total of US$275 million cash.
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) owns two-thirds of Marigold, while Barrick owns the remaining third of the open pit mine.
Barrick said it will receive US$86 million for its stake in the mine.
The Marigold sale is the second deal so far this year for Barrick. In late January, Barrick said it was selling its interest in two mine operations in Western Australia for AU$75 million in cash.
The sale of the Kanowna Belle and Kundana operations to Northern Star Resources Ltd is expected to close in March. The price, equivalent to about C$73.6 million, is subject to certain closing conditions.
Barrick saw a shakeup of its board last year.
The company announced that founder and co-chairman Peter Munk will retire at the next annual meeting and that two other long-time directors – Howard Beck and former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney – are not standing for re-election.
The gold miner also appointed last year a chief operating officer and announced the nomination of four new independent directors.
Former American Airlines chief executive Donald Carty and Signalta Capital president Robert Franklin also resigned from the company's board of directors in December.
Barrick had been looking to improve its governance practices and add new independent directors since its annual meeting last year when it was criticized for a $11.9-million signing bonus paid to co-chairman John Thornton and, in a non-binding vote, a majority of shareholders opposed an executive pay resolution.