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Barrick on target to meet 2021 guidance, reports Q2 beat on higher gold price

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(Kitco News) - Higher gold prices helped the world's second-largest producer beat earning expectations as production fell in the second quarter.

Monday ahead of the North America open, Barrick Gold (NYSE: GOLD) announced earnings of $411 million or 23 cents per share. Meanwhile, the company reported net adjusted earnings of $513 million or 29 cents per share. Equity analysts were expecting to see the company report EPS of around 26 cents.

Barrick said its average realized gold prices for the second quarter were $1,820 an ounce, up nearly 2.5% from last year. While the senior gold producer saw higher gold prices, it also reported lower production numbers. Barrick said it produced 1.041 million ounces of gold between April and June, down more than 5% compared to last year.

The company said that production was down due to milling issues. "Production for the second quarter of 2021 was impacted by a mechanical mill failure at Carlin," the company said.

Despite the production drop, the company said that it is on track to meet its 2021 guidance.

Mark Bristow, president and CEO of Barrick, said that exploration and the continued development of its brownfield projects is key to the company's ongoing success.

"The gold mining industry's chronic tendency to harvest the gold price instead of investing in the future has resulted in declining reserves and a shortage of high-quality development projects. At Barrick, on the other hand, a strong exploration culture combined with its sustainable profitability strategy is expanding its asset base as we look to discover exciting new opportunities," he said in a prepared statement.

Barrick also said that it is returning more money to shareholding, releasing its second $250 million tranche to go along with its dividend of 9 cents per share.

"We are pleased to be able to provide our shareholders with one of the leading returns in the industry whilst at the same time continuing to invest in the future growth and development of our assets, underpinned by our strong operational and financial performance," said senior executive vice-president and chief financial officer Graham Shuttleworth in a statement.

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