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Miner Barrick Gold Corp , on Thursday reported a nearly 5 per cent rise in third-quarter gold production from the previous three months, as output jumped at its Veladero mine in Argentina.

Barrick, the world’s second-largest gold miner by reserves, also reiterated its annual output forecast, saying that fourth-quarter production was set to be the strongest of the year.

In the three months ended Sept. 30, total preliminary gold production rose to 1.09 million ounces, from 1.04 million ounces in the previous quarter. Analysts had expected a figure of 1.14 million ounces, Refinitiv data showed.

The output was underpinned by a nearly 55 per cent jump in production of the yellow metal at the Veladero mine after it commissioned expansion works at the site.

The miner’s copper production rose 4.16 per cent sequentially to 100 million pounds.

The company said the third-quarter realized copper price was expected to be 5 per cent to 7 per cent below the average market price of $4.25 per pound, mainly due to adjustments that reflect the downward trend in copper prices during the quarter.

It estimated all-in sustaining costs, a key industry metric, to be 4 per cent to 6 per cent lower sequentially for both gold and copper.

It also said output at the Hemlo mine in Canada was expected to be below its annual outlook as the ramp-up of underground development had slowed due to COVID-19 movement curbs.

Barrick, which hopes to restart the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea this year after resolving a standoff with the government, is slated to report third-quarter results on Nov. 4.

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