NEW YORK (TheStreet ) -- Barrick Gold (ABX) is the big daddy of all gold companies, but maintaining its explosive growth in the face of higher costs for everything from energy to labor will be the challenge going forward.
The gold miner earned 95 cents a share and revenue topped $2.95 billion. Gold production rose to 1.7 million ounces at cash costs of $486 an ounce or $326 if you factor in by-product sales.
In 2011, Barrick hopes to produce between 7.6 million and 8 million ounces of gold, up 2.5% from 2010, at cash costs $450-$480 an ounce. In 5 years, Barrick is planning to produce 9 million ounces of gold and the company only needs gold prices to stay above $1,000 for all its projects to see juicy returns.
The headwinds facing Barrick and the gold mining industry at large include higher input costs, soaring oil prices, rising exploration costs and higher labor wages. This combination is hurting the entire gold mining sector and it's quickly becoming a matter of who will weather the storm best.
|Barrick Gold CEO Aaron Regent|
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