TORONTO (Reuters) – Canadian miner Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) is keen to top its $1.5 billion target for asset sales after shedding its half of the Super Pit gold mine in Western Australia, Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said on Monday.
Australia’s Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd (SAR.AX) agreed on Monday to buy Barrick’s 50% stake of the Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Joint Venture, which operates one of Australia’s largest gold mines, for $750 million.. Newmont Goldcorp Corp (NEM.N) holds the other 50% share.
The deal is a first step in Barrick’s plan to jettison at least $1.5 billion in less-profitable assets by the end of 2020 in the wake of its acquisition of Rangold Resources a year ago. “The number is $1.5 billion to beat,” Bristow said in an interview. “We’re already half way.”
He declined to comment on specific assets but analysts said on Monday Barrick’s Lumwana copper mine in Zambia and its Massawa gold mine in Senegal are likely next candidates. Neither are among the Tier 1 mines Barrick has said it will focus on.
Buoyed by stronger gold prices, Barrick this month raised its dividend and reiterated a five-year annual production plan of 5.1-5.6 million ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of between $850-$950 per ounce.