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Canadian miner Barrick Gold ABX-T said on Thursday its gold production rose nearly 3 per cent sequentially for the third quarter, helped by higher production at its Cortez mines in Nevada.

The company’s total preliminary gold output was 1.04 million ounces in the three months ended Sept. 30, up from 1.01 million ounces in the previous quarter.

The world’s second-largest gold miner earlier this year said it expected gold and copper production in the second half of 2023 to be higher than the first half.

However, the quarter’s gold production was lower than expected, Barrick said in a statement, highlighting equipment design deficiencies at the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic.

“We continue to expect a significant increase in fourth quarter production volume,” the company added.

The company expects all-in-sustaining costs (AISC) per ounce of gold, an industry metric that reflects total expenses, to fall about 6-8 per cent from the previous quarter.

Barrick’s preliminary copper production for the quarter was up 4.7 per cent at 112 million pounds, from 107 million pounds in the previous quarter, driven primarily by the Lumwana mine in Zambia.

The Toronto-based miner earlier this month said it would invest nearly $2-billion in the Lumwana mine as part of the company’s plans to extend the mine’s life to 2060.

Copper’s AISC is expected to rise by 2-4 per cent from the previous quarter.

Globally refined copper usage is expected to increase by about 2 per cent in 2023 and 2.7 per cent in 2024, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said earlier in the month.

Barrick is scheduled to release its third-quarter results on Nov. 2, while rival and top gold producer Newmont Corp is expected to report on Oct. 26.

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