Barrick Gold Corp.’s gold production for 2019 of 5,465,000 ounces (oz) was at the top end of its guidance range while copper production of 432 million pounds was above the guidance range, the company reported.

The company reported net earnings per share of $2.26 for the year and noted that its adjusted net earnings per share were up 46% year on year while debt net of cash was halved from 2018 to $2.2 billion. The quarterly dividend was increased by 40% from the third quarter, to $0.07 cents per share, which was itself a 25% increase from the second quarter.

President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow said the successful formation of the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture during the year had resulted in the North American operations delivering at the midpoint of its production and cost guidance ranges. There were also strong performances from Barrick’s Latin American, Asia Pacific and Africa Middle East operations.

“In the year since the completion of Barrick’s merger with Randgold Resources, we have transformed the new company while creating the world’s largest gold mining complex in Nevada in a transaction that had been unsuccessfully pursued for two decades,” Bristow said. “The Acacia minorities’ buy-out enabled us to settle that company’s long-running dispute with the Tanzanian government and to integrate its assets into our operations.

“We’ve also started selling off non-core assets with the disposal of our stakes in the Kalgoorlie gold mine in Australia and the agreed sale of the Massawa project in Senegal.”

“We started the year with five Tier One gold mines and ended it with six, thanks to the Nevada deal. We’ve also succeeded in replenishing our reserves and resources, net of depletion, at a higher grade.”

Bristow said the pace of these achievements was attributable to a flattened management structure and the transfer of responsibilities from the corporate office to the operations.

“We now have agile multidisciplinary teams capable not only of executing complex, industry-leading corporate transactions but also of running our operations efficiently while pursuing new growth opportunities,” he said.