TORONTO — Barrick Gold Corp, the world’s biggest gold producer, is exploring options for its Lagunas Norte mine in Peru, including the sale of part or all of the asset, three people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Barrick, which is working with Toronto Dominion Bank , may prefer to hold 50 percent of Lagunas Norte, but it was unclear if the company wanted to keep control of the open-pit mine as operator, the people added.
The mine could be worth about $1.4 billion, according to industry experts, based on about two times the net asset value ascribed to high-quality gold mines. A Credit Suisse analyst put the mine’s NAV at $711 million.
Barrick and TD both declined to comment on Thursday. Mining companies in South America, global miners and private equity firms have reviewed the asset, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
One of the sources characterized the effort as a “soft process” that was not a top priority for Barrick. Lagunas Norte is one of Barrick’s five core mines, operating more than 4,000 meters above sea level in the Andes Mountains, with 4.2 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves at the end of 2016.
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