* Barrick sees 2013 copper output of 500 mln to 550 mln lbs
* Says lower forecast due to delay at Jabal Sayid project
* Reaffirms plan to shelve or sell non-core assets
Sept 11 Barrick Gold Corp has cut its
forecast for copper production next year due to delays at its
Jabal Sayid project in Saudi Arabia, Chief Executive Jamie
Sokalsky said on Tuesday.
Sokalsky said Barrick, the world's biggest gold miner, now
expects its total 2013 copper output to be in the range of about
500 million to 550 million pounds, down from a previous forecast
of 600 million pounds.
The company acquired Jabal Sayid as part of its C$7.3
billion ($7.5 billion) acquisition of Equinox Minerals in 2011.
"The safety and security standards of the mine were
originally designed by Equinox to Western Australian standards,
which differ to Saudi Arabia's standards," Sokalsky told the
Denver Gold Forum, adding that the company was recently notified
of the discrepancy by the Saudi government.
Because the mine does not comply with Saudi standards for
safety and security, the company is restricted in its use of
explosives and that will hinder its ability to mine the deposit,
"We expect to be in full compliance by 2014, but are working
hard to achieve this earlier," he said.
By 2015, Barrick's copper output will be at about 650
million pounds, Sokalsky said.
He also reaffirmed the company's plans to shelve, sell or
defer development of any assets that don't generate returns that
meet the company's expectations. He said Barrick is still
conducting a thorough review of its portfolio as part of this
"We've already identified some projects that don't meet the
criteria of further investment. One of those is African Barrick
Gold," said Sokalsky, who was Barrick's chief financial officer
for years before recently moving into the CEO role.
Last month, Barrick said it was in talks to sell all or a
part of an interest in subsidiary African Barrick Gold
to China National Gold Group.
Sokalsky stressed on Tuesday that the talks regarding a sale
of the stake are at a very early stage.
The company has also decided to shelve two of its largest
development projects - Donlin Gold in Alaska and Cerro Casale in