TORONTO – Barrick Gold has agreed to sell a 50% interest in its Zaldivar copper mine in Chile to Antofagasta Plc for a slightly more than US$1 billion in cash. The decision followed a highly competitive auction process that involved some of the biggest miners in the copper sector.
Antofagasta will pay Barrick US$980 million in cash upon closing and US$25 million in additional cash payments over the next five years. Closing is expected late this year and is subject to customary conditions.
The new joint venture formed by the partners will take advantage of Antofagasta's operating expertise in Chile and Barrick's knowledge of the Zaldivar mine and its potential.
Under the new ownership structure, Zaldivar will have a joint Barrick-Antofagasta board with three nominees from each partner. Antofagasta will act as the operator of the mine. The first chairman will be appointed by Antofagasta and will hold the office until Jan. 1, 2017, at which point the right to appoint the chairman will rotate between the parties on an annual basis.
Including the sale of the Zaldivar stake, Barrick has raised roughly US$1.85 billion towards its goal of reducing its debt by US$3 billion this year.
Please see Barrick.com.