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Barrick boosts stocks at mines to weather supply chain storm, CEO says

By Helen Reid CAPE TOWN (Reuters) -Barrick Gold Corp has nearly doubled its inventory of some key supplies at mines to weather the disruptions caused by Russia's invasion of...
Barrick boosts stocks at mines to weather supply chain storm, CEO says © Reuters. Mark Bristow, CEO of Barrick Gold ​Co. looks on during an interview with Reuters at the African Mining Indaba 2022 conference, in Cape Town, South Africa, May 11, 2022. REUTERS/Shelley Christians

By Helen Reid

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) -Barrick Gold Corp has nearly doubled its inventory of some key supplies at mines to weather the disruptions caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Chief Executive Mark Bristow told Reuters on Wednesday.

The world's second-biggest gold miner used to hold a month's worth of supplies at mines but tripled its inventory when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020.

This year, when it became clear Russia might invade Ukraine, Barrick ramped inventories up to five months' worth for key supplies like cyanide, explosives, and steel balls used for milling, Bristow said.

"We've taken some of the inventory up to five months, because of the Russian issue," he said in an interview on the sidelines of the Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town.

Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine has caused supply chain disruptions worldwide and sent gas and metal prices soaring, turbo-charging inflation.

Bristow also said he is concerned about fuel shortages.

"Our concern is that we are going to see stock-outs right across the world, and the impact of that is significant," he said. "This is not a nice situation."

Rising inflation is impacting consumers and companies alike. Gold Fields (NYSE:GFI) Ltd, for example, on Monday said inflation is eating into its contingency cost buffer for its biggest project, Salares Norte in Chile.

China's COVID-19 lockdowns have dampened demand, the Barrick CEO said, but if the situation there gets back to normal it will put even more stress on global supply chains.

"We are really investing and making sure we can protect ourselves as much as possible," he said.

Asked whether Barrick was considering investing in Zambia's Mopani Copper Mines, Bristow declined to answer, saying only that he was engaging with Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema's new administration.

Zambia is looking for an outside investor to reinvigorate Mopani, which needs a big cash injection to ramp up production.

Bristow said Zambia got "ripped off" when its previous government took on $1.5 billion in debt to buy Mopani back from Glencore (OTC:GLNCY).

"Glencore sold at a very high price to the state when they left, and that's a challenge to try and unwind that," Bristow said.

Glencore declined to comment.

Zambia will have to increase copper production to utilize its smelting capacity, and make the Mopani and Konkola Copper Mines smelters more efficient, Bristow said. Barrick's Lumwana mine in Zambia supplies to both smelters.

Zambia's Hichilema has pledged to more than triple the country's copper production to 3 million tonnes a year within the next decade.

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22-05-2022 12:07:55 (UTC+7)

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 EUR/USD1.0562↑ Buy
 GBP/USD1.2489Neutral
 USD/JPY127.86Neutral
 AUD/USD0.7039Sell
 USD/CAD1.2839↑ Buy
 EUR/JPY135.05Neutral
 EUR/CHF1.0296↑ Buy
 Gold1,845.10↑ Buy
 Silver21.765↑ Sell
 Copper4.3042↑ Buy
 Crude Oil WTI110.35↑ Sell
 Brent Oil112.91↑ Sell
 Natural Gas8.058↑ Sell
 US Coffee C216.48↑ Buy
 Euro Stoxx 503,657.03↑ Buy
 S&P 5003,901.36↑ Buy
 DAX13,981.91Buy
 FTSE 1007,389.98Neutral
 Hang Seng20,717.24↑ Sell
 Small Cap 20001,773.27↑ Buy
 IBEX 358,484.50Neutral
 BASF48.850Buy
 Bayer63.74Buy
 Allianz195.58Buy
 Adidas172.80Buy
 Lufthansa6.852↑ Sell
 Siemens AG115.08Neutral
 Deutsche Bank AG9.362Buy
Mua/Bán 1 chỉ SJC
# So hôm qua # Chênh TG
SJC Eximbank6,875/ 6,975
(6,875/ 6,975) # 1,795
SJC HCM6,895/ 6,985
(0/ 0) # 1,800
SJC Hanoi6,895/ 6,987
(0/ 0) # 1,802
SJC Danang6,895/ 6,987
(0/ 0) # 1,802
SJC Nhatrang6,895/ 6,987
(0/ 0) # 1,802
SJC Cantho6,895/ 6,987
(0/ 0) # 1,802
Cập nhật 22-05-2022 12:07:58
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