NEVADA – RIO TINTO of Britain has sold its 40% interest in the Cortez gold mine to its partner, BARRICK GOLD of Toronto. The deal is part of Rio Tinto’s plan to shed at least US$15 billion of assets.
The sale price includes US$1.7 billion in cash for Rio Tinto plus the possibility of a deferred bonus should a significant increase in reserves and resources be outlined. Rio also retains a contingent royalty interest in future production from the Cortez property.
The mine site is located 120 km southwest of Elko and 100 km south of Barrick’s Goldstrike gold property. The project includes both the Cortez mine and the Cortez Hills property, which is under development. When the Cortez Hills project is commissioned, Barrick says the property will produce between 950,000 and 1.0 million oz of gold annually at total cash costs of $280-$290/oz for the first five years.
Barrick’s site responsibility report for the Cortez project is posted at www.Barrick.com.