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Barrick Gold on Wednesday doubled its quarterly dividend after beating Wall Street estimates for profit on the back of higher gold and copper prices.

The miner’s average realised gold price rose 5.6% to $1,876 an ounce in the first quarter from a year earlier, while copper jumped near 14% to $4.68 a pound.

Gold prices scaled above $2,000/oz in early March as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine burnished its safe-haven appeal.

The quarter’s results and the dividend show the company is solving some integration challenges from its 2018 buyout of Randgold Resources, Barrick CEO Mark Bristow said in an interview.

“A lot of the issues that have been worrying some people have been addressed,” Bristow said. “There were a lot of big steps made this quarter.”

The company nearly doubled its quarterly dividend to $0.20 a share.

As was the case for other miners, gold production fell 10.1% to 990,000 oz in the quarter, dented by lower output at its Nevada gold mines.

Omicron-variant caused labour shortages and other disruptions have forced miners to grapple with lower output. Rival Newmont in February warned of a hit of as much as 150,000 oz in the first quarter.

Barrick said on Wednesday it has built up a “strategic inventory” of key commodities in response to rampant inflation and supply chain challenges, exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine.

The company's all-in sustaining costs, an industry metric that reflects total costs associated with production, rose to $1,164/oz of gold, from $1,018 a year earlier.

The company’s shares rose 1.29% to C$29.16, and have gained 21% so far this year.

First-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $0.26 was above estimates of $0.24, according to Refinitiv IBES.



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