Barrick Gold expects 15% drop in Q2 gold output


Adds details from statement, background on Porgera mine

July 16 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO, GOLD.Non Thursday estimated a 15% drop in second-quarter gold production as operations at its Veladero mine in Argentina were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world's second-largest gold miner said production was also hurt by a planned shutdown at its Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic and lower output at the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea.

Barrick had lowered its full-year attributable gold production forecast earlier this year as the Porgera mine was placed on care and maintenance after a government dispute in April.

Barrick and China's Zijin Mining 601899.SS each own 47.5% of the Porgera mine and last week they approached the World Bank's International Centre to try to settle the dispute.

The miner on Thursday said it anticipates gold production of 1.15 million ounces for the second quarter compared with 1.35 million ounces a year earlier.

Average market price for gold was $1,711 per ounce in the quarter ended June 30, the Canadian miner said in a statement.

Toronto-based Barrick is slated to announce its second-quarter results on Aug. 10.

(Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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