Soaring gold prices for Barrick produce surge in Q1 earnings


OTTAWA - Higher gold prices translated into a 22 per cent gain in first-quarter earnings for Barrick Gold Corp., the company announced on Wednesday.

Barrick, the world's largest gold company, reported earnings of $1 billion US, or $1.00 US a share in the first quarter, compared with $820 million, or 82 cents a share, in the first quarter last year.

Revenue for the quarter was $3.09 billion, compared with $2.581 billion in the year-ago quarter.

First quarter operating results exceeded our expectations and combined with strong metal prices and good cost control, resulted in significant growth in earnings and operating cash flow,'' said Aaron Regent, Barrick's president and CEO, in a statement.

Barrick said it is on track to meet its production projections for 2011 of up to eight million ounces of gold at a total cash cost of $450-$480 an ounce.

Earlier this week, Barrick made an all-cash friendly takeover offer for copper producer Equinox Minerals of $7.3-billion, which Regent said Wednesday would ``add another high-quality, long-life asset to our portfolio.'' 
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