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Barrick Gold on track to hit top end of production targets

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(Kitco News) - Barrick Gold reiterated its outlook that it will hit the top-end of its 2021 guidance forecast as the company reported solid earnings for the third quarter.

Thursday, ahead of the North American equity open, the world's second-largest gold producer reported adjusted net earnings of $419 million or 24 cents per share. The earnings slightly beat consensus estimates. The company's earnings were down more than 42% from last year.

Looking at production numbers, the senior producer said that it produced 1.09 million ounces of gold between July and September. Total production for the year is at 3.23 million ounces. The company also noted that attributable copper production for the quarter was 100 million pounds.

Production was down 5% compared to last year's quarter.

The company reported operating cash flow of $1.05 billion and free cash flow of $481 million for the third quarter.

"More than two years after the merger, we are getting to where we want to be, with the industry's best asset base in the form of six Tier One13 gold mines and a well-balanced portfolio of high-quality growth opportunities," said Barrick President and CEO Mark Bristow, in a statement.

"Barrick is driven by value creation and by any measure, we've been successful so far. But ours is a long-term vision which looks far beyond our major operations' current 10-year business plans and our ceaseless pursuit of new opportunities is continuing to deliver exciting future prospects," he added.

The company also raised its dividend to 9 cents per share and announced that the third tranche of $250 will be paid to shareholders on Dec. 15.

"We are pleased that the combination of our quarterly dividend and the $750 million return of capital distribution have provided our shareholders with a record level of cash returns totaling approximately $1.4 billion during 2021," said senior executive vice president and chief financial officer Graham Shuttleworth.

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