TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 14, 2012) - Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX)(TSX:ABX) announced today that its new Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic has achieved first gold production, with ore now being processed through the first two of four autoclaves.
"Bringing this mine successfully into production on schedule, within capital guidance and with an excellent safety record is the result of tremendous efforts from across the company," said Jamie Sokalsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of Barrick. "Pueblo Viejo is a world-class asset, one of only a handful of mines that will produce more than one million ounces of gold per year. We expect it to be a major contributor of low cost production to Barrick for decades to come."
The mine is now proceeding with remaining plant commissioning activities, including the final two autoclaves, with commercial production anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2012. Barrick's 60 percent share of 2012 production from Pueblo Viejo is expected to be 100,000-125,000 ounces at total cash costs of $400-$500 per ounce1. In its first full five years of operation, Barrick's share of production is anticipated to be 625,000-675,000 ounces at total cash costs of $300-$350 per ounce2.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT ON FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Certain information contained or incorporated by reference in this press release, including any information as to our strategy, projects, plans or future financial or operating performance, constitutes "forward-looking statements". All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. The words "believe", "expect", "anticipate", "contemplate", "target", "plan", "intend", "continue", "budget", "estimate", "may", "will", "schedule" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the company, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Known and unknown factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: fluctuations in the spot and forward price of gold and copper or certain other commodities (such as silver, diesel fuel and electricity); diminishing quantities or grades of reserves; the impact of inflation; changes in national and local government legislation, taxation, controls, regulations, expropriation or nationalization of property and political or economic developments in Canada, the United States and other jurisdictions in which the company does or may carry on business in the future; the impact of global liquidity and credit availability on the timing of cash flows and the values of assets and liabilities based on projected future cash flows; fluctuations in the currency markets; changes in U.S. dollar interest rates; risks arising from holding derivative instruments; risk of loss due to acts of war, terrorism, sabotage and civil disturbances; business opportunities that may be presented to, or pursued by, the company; the ability of the company to successfully integrate acquisitions; operating or technical difficulties in connection with mining or development activities; employee relations; availability and increased costs associated with mining inputs and labor; increased costs and technical challenges associated with the construction of capital projects; litigation; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of obtaining necessary licenses and permits; adverse changes in our credit rating; contests over title to properties, particularly title to undeveloped properties; and the organization of our previously held African gold operations and properties under a separate listed company.
In addition, there are risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining, including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected formations, pressures, cave-ins, flooding and gold bullion or copper cathode losses (and the risk of inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance, to cover these risks). Many of these uncertainties and contingencies can affect our actual results and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, us. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. All of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements. Specific reference is made to the most recent Form 40-F/Annual Information Form on file with the SEC and Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities for a discussion of some of the factors underlying forward-looking statements.
The company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
1 Based on a WTI oil price assumption of $90/bbl. The 2012 total cash cost estimate is dependent on the rate at which production ramps up after commercial levels of production are achieved. A change in the efficiency of the ramp up could have a significant impact on this estimate.
2 Based on gold and WTI oil price assumptions of $1,300/oz and $90/bbl, respectively. Does not include escalation for future inflation.