This spectacular loss was caused by Goldcorp – like Barrick – making a series of write-downs across its operations for the fourth quarter 2013. But these write-downs only totaled U.S.$443 million, or less than a fifth of Barrick’s spectacular U.S.$2.8 billion of write-downs for the same period.
Goldcorp also recorded a tax charge of U.S.$763 million primarily due to recently enacted income tax laws in Mexico. Leaving total impairments and charges at a monster U.S.$1.2 billion, sending Goldcorp’s net income plunging into the red.
Of even more concern, despite fourth quarter 2013 all in sustaining costs per ounce produced falling 7% to $810 quarter-over-quarter, they shot up 18% to $1,031 per ounce for the full year. With gold now trading at U.S.$1,302 per ounce, this leaves Goldcorp a rather thin operational margin of U.S.$271 per ounce produced. It is also even more concerning when the outlook for gold is uncertain, with the price expected to slide further as the Fed continues tapering quantitative easing.