More cuts coming, Barrick says, amid bullion rally – by Lisa Wright (Toronto Star – February 19, 2016)

Barrick Gold Corp. shares soared Thursday as the Toronto mining giant pledged further cost cuts and debt slashing amid a mini-rally in the bullion price.

“There’s still a lot of heavy lifting to be done” to tackle the company’s debt load, said Barrick president Kelvin Dushnisky on a conference call with analysts.

The world’s largest gold miner may sell additional non-core assets and create new joint ventures and partnerships, following another fourth-quarter net loss, he said.

But the company plans an additional $2 billion in debt reduction this year and $5 billion in reductions in the mid term. In 2015, the miner reduced its total debt by $3.1 billion to $10 billion.

Earlier this year, Barrick regained its status as Canada’s biggest gold miner by market value by surpassing Vancouver-based Goldcorp Inc.

It is the third-best-performing stock on the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index so far this year.

While gold companies are suffering from three straight years of annual bullion-price declines, shares of many of the big Canadian producers have rebounded in 2016 as investors with stock market jitters are turning back to the safe haven of metal.

Barrick has benefited from a surge in gold prices this year, with its share price up more than 60 per cent since the beginning of 2016.

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