CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-UPDATE 2-Barrick cuts cost forecast, appoints directors

Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:33pm EDT
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(Corrects job title of Brian Greenspun in paragraph 2 to chairman and chief executive of Greenspun Media Group following correction from Barrick)

July 30 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp lowered its full-year cost forecast on Wednesday and again trimmed capital spending as the world's biggest gold producer works to rein in costs that soared industry-wide between 2008 and 2012, when bullion was rising.

Barrick also said it appointed J. Michael Evans, the former vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs Inc, and Brian Greenspun, the chairman and chief executive of Greenspun Media Group and a prominent Nevada businessman, as independent directors on its board.

Toronto-based Barrick this month said it would abolish its chief executive position, replacing it with two presidents in a move investors and analysts said cements the authority of its new executive chairman, John Thornton, a former Goldman Sachs executive.

Barrick earlier reported slightly weaker-than-expected adjusted net earnings, which fell to $159 million, or 14 cents a share, in the quarter to end-June from $663 million, or 66 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Analysts expected the company to earn 15.9 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Earnings were down on weaker gold prices and lower gold and copper sales volumes. Results also were reduced by an impairment charge of $514 million related to the Jabal Sayid copper project. Barrick this month said it was forming a joint venture with Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden) to run the long-delayed project.

Barrick, which has mines in the Americas, Australia and Africa, said it was reducing its forecast for 2014 all-in sustaining costs, the industry cost benchmark, to between $900 and $940 per ounce from a previous forecast of between $920 and $980 an ounce.

The company also cut its 2014 capital expenditure guidance range by $200 million, to between $2.2 billion and $2.5 billion.   Continued...