Barrick Gold continues to sell gold assets, more to come?
Barrick Gold is cleaning house.
The Canadian mining company has announced two deals in the past week, agreeing to sell its Cowal gold mine to Evolution Mining Ltd. for $550 million, as well as signing a $298 million deal with Chinese miner Zijin Mining Group to sell 50 percent of its stake in the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea.
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The recent transactions are among several planned sales aimed at helping Barrick streamline operations in order to cut costs and reduce debt. The company has previously outlined plans to cut debt by $3 billion by the end of 2015.
Barrick also announced it had signed a “long-term strategic co-operation agreement” with Zijin to co-operate on future projects and investments.
"Our partnership with Zijin is the first step in a long-term strategic relationship with one of China's leading mining companies—a multi-faceted partnership that will provide significant opportunities to work together on an ongoing basis as we continue to create value for our respective owners.”
Zijin, one of China’s largest gold and copper producers, called the partnership with Barrick an “excellent fit.”
"Our companies have complementary expertise and experience and share a common vision for creating long-term value for our owners," Zijin chairman Chen Jinghe said.
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Barrick Gold has sold six mines since 2012 for a total of $1.3 billion. Five of those mines are located in Australia. Barrick’s only remaining Australian gold-mining interest is the Kalgoorlie Super Pit operation, which the miner has a 50 percent stake in.
“The sale of Cowal is consistent with the strategy we have outlined to create long-term value for our owners, making a significant contribution to our debt-reduction target while further focusing the geographic footprint of our portfolio,” said Barrick Co-President Kelvin Dushnisky.
The next potential sale for Barrick could be the Zaldivar copper mine in Chile.
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.