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Barrick Gold’s other North American mines: Upgraded guidance

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Barrick’s other North American mines: Operating performance

Barrick Gold’s (ABX) other North American mines include Bald Mountain, Round Mountain, Turquoise Ridge, Golden Sunlight, Ruby Hill, and Hemlo.

This segment of Barrick Gold produced 213,000 ounces of gold, a decline of 4% from 3Q13. The decline was due to the sale of Marigold mine and lower production at Ruby Hill and Golden Sunlight. The third quarter all-in sustaining costs (or AISC) came in at $980 per ounce, a decline of $266 per ounce. Lower operating costs and higher sales volume led to the decline in unit costs.

Segment income for three months was $56 million, an increase of 24%, which was due to an increase in sales volume and lower operating costs. This was partially offset by a lower realized gold price.

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AISC guidance reduced

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In 2014, production is expected to be at the high end of the 795,000- to 845,000-ounce range due to higher-than-expected grades at Turquoise Ridge and Round Mountain.  Due to higher-than-expected production, AISC guidance has been reduced to $980 to $1,000 per ounce, from the previous $1,075 to $1,100 per ounce.

In the face of declining gold prices, many companies, including Newmont mining (NEM) and Kinross Gold (KGC), have also started high-grading their mines. High-grading is mining higher-grade portions of the mine first. This lowers the cost per unit as less waste has to be treated.

The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners exchange-traded fund (or ETF) (GDX)  invests in big gold producers, while the gold-backed Standard and Poors depositary receipt (or SPDR) Gold Trust ETF (GLD) provides exposure to the spot gold prices.

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