Rumours are flying about which Barrick Gold assets will next change hands. The mining world is watching as the company strives to cut its debt by US$3.0 billion in 2015. Thanks to the sale of several “non-core” assets, Barrick is well on its way to achieving its goal.
Earlier this week, there was speculation in the press that either Kinross Gold of Toronto or Newmont Mining of Denver might be interested in picking up Barrick’s assets that are for sale in the United States. The idea seemed credible because Kinross already owns half of the Round Mountain gold mine in Nevada and is the operator. Buying out a partner is not much of a stretch, but Kinross has been quiet on the idea. Or Newmont might want to boost its portfolio of five mines in Nevada.
So much for what the pundits thought earlier this week.
Reports are now circulating that Newmont is cool to the idea of buying Barrick’s American assets and would rather pick up the half of the Super Pit that it does not already own. Barrick and Newmont are partners at the Kalgoorlie operations that include the Super Pit in Western Australia. Newmont obtained its interest when it bought half the operating company, Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines. Being sole owner would allow Newmont to restructure the operation.
Alas, Barrick has not indicated any interest in divesting its share of the mine that produced 650,000 oz of gold in 2014 – albeit at a rather high, all-in sustaining cost of US$1,037 per oz.
Rumours circulated at the Diggers and Dealers convention (Australia’s version of the Prospectors & Developers) that a new find below the Super Pit will spur a move underground. Newmont has refused to confirm the rumour.