TORONTO – Barrick Gold will fold its copper division and refocus on gold production following the sale of half of its interest in the Zaldavar copper mine Chile and the write down at its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia.
Barrick pledged to reduce its debt by at least U$3 billion in 2015, and the company has embarked on the sale of non-core assets. In recent months, the company has sold half its 95% interest in the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea, raising US$298 million in cash. Selling the Cowal gold mine in Australia put US$550 million in the Barrick coffers. Last year the company unloaded its Plutonic, Kanowna Belle and Kundana mines, also in Australia.
Barrick has more gold properties pegged for potential sale in the United States. Bald Mountain, Round Mountain, Ruby Hill and in Nevada as well as the Golden Sunlight (where layoffs are planned for November 2015) in Montana may all be sold. Possible purchasers include Kinross Gold of Toronto and Newmont Mining of Denver, CO.
Barrick is expecting again to trim its head office staff when the US mines are sold. And it has announced the closing of its office in Salt Lake City, UT.
So far in 2015 Barrick has attained US$2.7 billion of its US$3.0 billion debt reduction target. At the same time, the company has identified US$1.6 billion of US$2.0 billion in cost reductions to be implemented this year and next. Also in its crosshairs are operating costs, although all-in sustaining costs are not unreasonable at US$840 to US$880 per oz of gold. Reportedly 70% of these costs are attributable to operating costs and 30% to labour costs.
Please see Barrick.com.