GATA presents its evidence to Congress this week

Section:

Canada's Barrick sees strong gold prices ahead

LIMA, Peru, May 4 (Reuters) -- Canada's Barrick Gold
Corp. is betting on strong future gold prices in 2000
as world demand for the precious metal improves about
20 percent over 1999, the head of its Peruvian unit
said Thursday.

Driven by increased Asian demand and renewed interest
by investors in gold as an alternative to inflation-
threatened currencies, prices are set to shine, said
Igor Gonzales, general manager at Barrick Misquichilca,
the subsidiary that runs Barrick's Pierina gold mine in
Peru.

"Barrick is confident in a recovery in the price of
gold and that's why we continue with exploration
projects," Gonzales told reporters at the Fourth
International Gold Symposium in Lima.

Gonzales echoed comments made a day earlier by Barrick
President and Chief Executive Randall Oliphant.

"Our faith in gold is demonstrated by three new mines
in development and $1.5 billion in investment for the
next three years," Oliphant said.

But Oliphant also said Barrick, North America's second
largest miner, must improve its operations if it hopes
to compete.

"The future I foresee for this industry is one of strong
competition, so we must make our companies more
modern and have more output," he said.

"We can't sit by and wait for gold prices to rise to
meet our financial objectives. I expect gold to improve
by 20 percent" over the year before, Oliphant said.
Barrick credited the Pierina gold mine, which sits some
13,000 feet (4,000 meters) above sea level in Peru's
Andes Mountains, with helping it prop up first-quarter
earnings released last week. The mine, which began
operations in November 1998, logged a cash cost of $38
an ounce in the first quarter, just below the $39
posted last year. Total cash cost for Barrick's world
operations was $133 an ounce.

Gold is trading in the international market near $280
an ounce, a slight improvement from the $250 it hit in
1999, its lowest value in 15 years.

But Goldman Sachs estimates an average price of gold of
$300 this year and expects that to increase to $325 in
2001.

Barrick stock closed down C$0.20 at C$27.70 in Toronto
Thursday.