CHILE — Barrick Gold of Toronto is offering US$465 million in cash for Xstrata's 70% interest in the El Morro gold-copper project. Vancouver-based New Gold indirectly holds the other 30%. The project is 70 km north of Barrick's 100%-owned Pascua-Lama development and 110 km south of its 50%-owned Cerro Casale project.
The El Morro project is in an advanced stage of exploration. Xstrata has spent US$70 million at El Morro and produced a feasibility study. The property has measured and indicated resources of 389 million tonnes grading 0.59% Cu and 0.52 g/t Au (0.3% cutoff). Contained metals are estimated at 8.3 million oz of gold and 6.3 billion lb of copper.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval and the condition that New Gold not take up its right of first refusal for Xstrata's 70% interest. Detailed information about the El Morro project is available at the New Gold website, www.NewGold.com.