Barrick Gold Corp. has two deals to sell non-core assets in Nevada for $720 million US in cash as part of its effort to reduce its debt by $3 billion by the end of the year.
Kinross Gold Corp. will pay $610 million for the Bald Mountain gold mine and to take over the 50 per cent of the Round Mountain gold mine owned by Barrick.
Both are open pit gold mines with low-cost production, Kinross said in a news release and will add 430,000 gold equivalent ounces to its annual production within three years.
Barrick and Kinross will also form a 50-50 joint venture to explore on a large land package on Bald Mountain, with Kinross to operate any new mines.
In the second deal, Waterton Precious Metals Fund II Cayman will buy 70 per cent stake in the Spring Valley gold project and its 100 per cent stake in the Ruby Hill gold mine.
The transaction with Waterton, a mining-focused private equity firm, is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. The transaction with Canadian-based Kinross, a senior gold mining company with mines and projects in the United States, Brazil, Chile and Ghana, is expected to be completed by mid-January 2016.
The fall in gold prices since its peak of $1,900 an ounce in 2011 has been hard on Barrick because it had a lot of debt from buying assets worldwide. Gold closed yesterday at 1084 US an ounce.
Barrick has announced asset sales, joint ventures and partnerships worth $3.2 billion since the start of 2015 and expects to have reduced its debt by 23 per cent by the end of this year.
"The sale of these assets is consistent with our strategy to create long-term value for our shareholders by strengthening the balance sheet and further focusing our portfolio on core mines that will drive free cash flow growth," said Barrick president Kelvin Dushnisky in a news release.