Barrick posts bigger loss as belt-tightening begins amid falling gold prices

TORONTO – Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) has reported a net loss for the third-quarter, the first since the company embarked on a transformation plan designed to make it into a leaner company amid the plummeting price of bullion.

The Toronto-based gold miner after markets closed Wednesday that it lost US$264 million, or 23 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a profit of US$125 million, or 11 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Barrick, which reports in American dollars, said in its last quarterly report that it was slashing its dividend by 60 per cent and would put some of its mines up for sale as part of nearly $2 billion in cuts.

The company said in its latest report that it made an adjusted profit of $131 million in the quarter, down from $253 million in the third quarter of last year.

Barrick took a $455-million impairment change related to its Zaldivar mine, offset by a $52-million gain from the sale of its Cowal mine and 50 per cent of its interest in it Porgera project.

Barrick said it has reduced its debt load by 15 per cent in the first three quarters of the year, to $11.2 billion, as part of its effort to strengthen its balance sheet in the face of declining gold prices.

Barrick’s average realized gold price in the quarter was US$1,125, compared with US$1,285 in the third quarter of 2014.