PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Toronto-based BARRICK GOLD has bought out EMPEROR MINES 20% interest in the Porgera gold mine for approximately US$250 million. Barricks interest will jump to 95% of the project. The remaining 5% is held by the local government and landholders.
Porgera produced approximately 542,000 oz of gold in 2006, and has proven and probable reserves of 9.42 million oz. Barrick acquired its initial 75% interest in Porgera when it acquired Placer Dome in 2006. Barrick is currently in discussions regarding the possible sale of up to 5% interest to its joint venture partner, MINERAL RESOURCES ENGA, for the proportionate acquisition cost paid by Barrick.
The agreement is subject to certain conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals from Papua New Guinea, and is expected to close within four months.
Information on all of Barricks projects around the globe is available at www.Barrick.com.