Barrick Gold to write down $3B US in assets

Barrick Gold shares has given notice it will write down $3-billion US of assets, including mines in Chile and Argentina as gold prices remain depresse

As gold prices remain low, Barrick to write off mines in Chile, Argentina, Dominican Republic

Barrick's Pueblo Viejo gold mine in the Dominican Republic is one of the assets it will write down. (Ricardo Rojas/Reuters)

Barrick Gold shares has given notice it will write down $3-billion US of assets, including mines in Chile and Argentina as gold prices remain depressed. 

Barrick says it will be writing down the value of its stalled Pascua-Lama mining project on the border of Chile and Argentina and its Pueblo Viejo gold operation in Dominican Republic by a total of between $1 billion and and $1.2 billion.

It will also reduce the value of goodwill — an intangible asset related to some of its past acquisitions — by about $1.8 billion US.

The Toronto-based company — one of the world's largest gold producers — says it will provide an update on the writedowns on Feb. 17 when it reports detailed financial and operating results for the year ended Dec. 31.

The write downs are non-cash items that reflect the reduced long-term value of the assets.

Its shares were up slightly Friday at $12.02 Cdn. 

Barrick also announced Thursday that it produced about 6.12 million ounces of gold and 511 million pounds of copper last year, both within Barrick's expectations.

It got about $1.105 US per ounce on average for the gold sold in the fourth quarter and $1,157 per ounce for the year. For the coming year, however, Barrick assumes its realized price for gold will drop to $1,000 per ounce.

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