Barrick Gold to Form Partnership with Ma'aden for Copper Project
Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp. announced it has secured a joint venture partnership with Saudi Arabian mining company Ma’aden to run its Jabal Sayid copper project in the kingdom.
According to the agreement, Ma’aden will pay $210 million to acquire a 50 percent stake in Barrick’s underground copper project, which is located 120 kilometers southeast of Medina in the western region of Saudi Arabia. The project has been delayed due to regulatory hurdles in the kingdom.
“This joint venture will enable the Jabal Sayid project to move forward with the benefit of Ma’aden’s extensive experience in the Saudi Arabian mining sector, combined with Barrick’s technical and operating expertise,” said Jamie Sokalsky, Barrick’s President and CEO.
“Once in production, Jabal Sayid will be a high-quality, low-cost underground copper mine capable of generating substantial free cash flow, while providing benefits for local communities through training, employment and economic development.”
The partnership is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014 and is subject to customary closing conditions. Approvals from the Saudi Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources have already been obtained for the transaction.
Barrick acquired the Jabal Sayid copper mine in 2011 when it purchased Equinox Minerals Ltd. in order to gain control of the large Lumwana copper mine in Zambia.
The joint venture with Ma’aden marks the first partnership the company has formed since John Thornton became Barrick’s executive chairman earlier this year.
Jabal Sayid is expected to produce 60,000 tons of copper concentrate annually over the first five years.