Gold Fields Said to Be Among Final Bidders in Barrick Mine Sale – by David Stringer and Brett Foley (Bloomberg News – May 22, 2015)

Gold Fields Ltd. is among final bidders competing to acquire a $400 million Australian mine from Barrick Gold Corp., people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Johannesburg-based producer and China’s Zijin Mining Group Co. submitted final offers for the Cowal gold mine in New South Wales state, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the details are private. They are competing with local suitors Evolution Mining Ltd. and Independence Group NL, which also submitted binding bids, they said.

Barrick, the world’s biggest gold miner, said last month it has fielded interest for mines it’s seeking to divest in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Chile. The Toronto-based company plans to reduce net debt by at least $3 billion this year, partly by selling the assets and cutting staff at its head office.

Zijin Mining has also expressed interest in Barrick’s Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea, the people said. Representatives for Gold Fields, Independence Group and Evolution declined to comment, while spokesmen for Barrick and Zijin didn’t immediately respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Cheaper Production

The Cowal mine, which produced 268,000 ounces of gold last year, may be worth at least $400 million, Morgans Ltd. wrote in an April 22 note to clients. Barrick, which is working with Credit Suisse Group AG on the potential sales, could raise as much as $1.1 billion from divesting Cowal and Porgera, TD Securities Inc. said in February.

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