Embattled Barrick selling assets to cut debt, reduce costs – by Lisa Wright (Toronto Star – August 7, 2015)

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Gold miner cuts dividend and will shave another $2 billion from operations in pursuit of profitability.

Just about everything is for sale or on the chopping block – except for a handful of core mines – as Barrick Gold Corp. fights to stay atop the gold mining industry amid crippling debt and a tanking bullion price that has dragged its stock down to 26-year lows.

“If you have interested parties, be in contact with us please,” company co-president Kelvin Dushnisky said with a slight chuckle when an analyst asked on Thursday’s conference call if the miner’s equipment was up for sale at its now dormant Pascua-Lama site in Chile.

The Toronto-based gold miner said it will now target spending cuts across its operations at $2 billion before the end of 2016 — a move that tacks an extra $1 billion of cuts onto a previously announced target to lower expenses and improve productivity.

Barrick, which also reported a second-quarter loss, said it has already identified $1.4 billion of potential cuts across the business from operating expenses, capital spending and corporate overhead.

“We are scrutinizing every aspect of the business,” said Barrick’s new chief financial officer Shaun Usmar.

The world’s top gold producer is also slashing its dividend by 60 per cent and putting several U.S. mines up for sale in what it calls a “relentless” effort to further reduce its costs amid worries about the tumbling bullion price, which has slumped to $1,085 U.S. an ounce from this year’s high of $1,295 in January.

Global gold miners are scrambling to cut costs and sell or shutter mines as the yellow metal’s price has slid 42 per cent from an all-time high in 2011 of $1,895 U.S.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.thestar.com/business/2015/08/06/embattled-barrick-selling-assets-to-cut-debt-reduce-costs.html

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