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Barrick Gold 3Q net down on volume, pricing

The Associated Press

Shares of Barrick Gold Corp. dropped sharply on Thursday after the world's biggest gold producer said its third-quarter net income was cut in half by lower gold volume and prices, missing analysts' expectations.

Barrick earned $618 million, or 62 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30. That was down from $1.37 billion, or $1.36 per share, during the same period last year.

Revenue fell 13.5 percent to $3.44 billion.

Analysts expected a profit of $1 per share on revenue of $3.59 billion, according to FactSet.

Gold production fell 7.7 percent to 1.78 million ounces. Copper production fell 20 percent to 112 million pounds.

Realized gold prices in the most recent quarter fell 5 percent to $1,655 per ounce.

Barrick now expects that the gold it mines will cost $575 to $585 per ounce, up from its previous guidance of $550 to $575 per ounce, because of higher costs in its Australia Pacific and African units. It said net cash costs for gold would be $480 to $500 per ounce, at the high end of its previous guidance of $460 to $500.

The company also said its Pascua-Lama project straddling the Chile-Argentina border could be delayed longer, and cost more, than it had previously thought. It now expects first production there in the second half of 2014, with capital costs of $8 billion to $8.5 billion. The company had said in July that it hoped to be producing there in mid-2014 at a cost of $7.5 billion to $8 billion.

Barrick said it has hired mining project contractor Fluor to manage the project. Barrick said it is working with Fluor on a "comprehensive top-to-bottom review" of the project and should have a more detailed cost estimate when it releases fourth-quarter results.

Barrick shares fell $3.42, or 8.4 percent, to $37.08 in afternoon trading.