Australia takes hit as Barrick Gold continues to sell

By Uwear

In a recent new plan to cut costs and reduce debt, Barrick Gold, Business Review Australia's sister site Mining Global detailed its announcment of two deals in the past week, agreeing to sell its Cowal gold mine to Evolution Mining Ltd. for $550 million, as well as signing a $298 million deal with Chinese miner Zijin Mining Group to sell 50 per cent of its stake in the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea.

RELATED TOPIC: Precious Metal Roundup: WA Gold Producers Remain Upbeat Despite Lower Prices

Barrick Gold has sold six mines since 2012 for a total of $1.3 billion, five of which are located in Australia. Barrick’s only remaining Australian gold-mining interest is the Kalgoorlie Super Pit operation, which the miner has a 50 per cent stake in. The company has previously outlined plans to cut debt by $3 billion by the end of 2015.

In addition, Barrick also announced it had signed a “long-term strategic co-operation agreement” with Zijin to co-operate on future projects and investments. One of China’s largest gold and copper producers, Zijin called the partnership with Barrick an “excellent fit.”

RELATED TOPIC: Is Apple Really Buying a Third of the World's Gold for its New Watch Edition?

"Our partnership with Zijin is the first step in a long-term strategic relationship with one of China's leading mining companies—a multi-faceted partnership that will provide significant opportunities to work together on an ongoing basis as we continue to create value for our respective owners,” Zijin chairman Chen Jinghe said. "Our companies have complementary expertise and experience and share a common vision for creating long-term value for our owner."

Said Barrick Co-President Kelvin Dushnisky, “The sale of Cowal is consistent with the strategy we have outlined to create long-term value for our owners, making a significant contribution to our debt-reduction target while further focusing the geographic footprint of our portfolio."

The next potential sale for Barrick could be the Zaldivar copper mine in Chile.

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