Barrick Gold Considers Selling Assets, Hints at Mick Davis Deal
Like most people in the world, Barrick Gold is trying to reduce debt. The Toronto-based gold miner is attempting to cut its debt by $3 billion and has made it very clear they are open to a wide range of asset sales and joint ventures.
Barrick has even hinted at a possible deal with former Xstrata chief executive, Mick Davis.
According to the Financial Times, the company's chairman, John Thornton, said it would be a “good example” to assume that Barrick Gold go into partnership with someone such as Mick Davis, whose company, X2 Resources, is currently looking for investments.
“I could imagine a joint venture in which, let’s say, we sold a minority interest to a party [with] a world-class chief executive and that chief executive was going to run the copper business the way he thought made sense,” Thornton said in an interview with the Financial Times.
“We would build the business with him. We would be majority owner or even 50-50 owner. It would build value for us.”
Thornton also said Barrick is open to finding a strategic long-term partner interested in selected stakes in a cluster of assets.
Thornton, a former Goldman Sachs banker, said Barrick is confident of meeting its target to cut $3 billion this year from its net debt of more than $10 billion. Barrick, which has been one of the worst-performing large miners of the past two years, is desperately trying to rebuild its reputation with investors.
The company is also in the advanced stages of selling two gold mines -- Cowal in Australia and Porgera in Papua New Guinea – and is reportedly considering selling its Zaldivar copper mine in Chile.
On a side note, Thornton did confirm with the Financial Times that Barrick has no plans to try and revive a merger with its US rival Newmont Mining.
(Source: Financial Times)
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.