Barrick Gold sells four US mines for $720 million

Barrick Gold sells four US mines for $720 million

The Bald Mountain open-pit gold mine is just one of the assets Barrick is unloading. (Image courtesy of Barrick Gold)

Canada’s Barrick Gold (TSX, NYSE:ABX), the world's biggest gold producer, is unloading four of its non-core Nevada mines for US$720 million in cash, and said Thursday it expects to sign at least one of the deal before year-end.

The move would help the Toronto-based miner to meet its ambitious target for reducing its $13 billion debt by $3 billion this year.

“As we move into 2016 and beyond, we will continue to take steps to strengthen our balance sheet,” Barrick President Kelvin Dushnisky said in a statement. “But we will balance debt repayments with investments to drive future growth in free cash flow and Ebitda.”

The assets to be sold are Bald Mountain and Ruby Hill mine, as well as its 50% stake in the Round Mountain mine and a 70% interest in the Spring Valley project.

Fellow Canadian miner Kinross Gold (TSX:K) (NYSE:KGC) is acquiring the stake in Round Mountain mine and all of the Bald Mountain mine, where the two gold producers are forming a 50-50 exploration joint venture. In total, Kinross is paying Barrick $610 million.

In addition, units of Waterton Precious Metals Fund II Cayman LP have agreed to buy Barrick’s interest in Spring Valley and all of Ruby Hill mine for $110 million.

In May, the company sold half of its Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea to Zijin Mining Group in a $298 million cash deal.

And in July, Barrick sold a 50% stake in its Zaldívar copper mine in Chile to Antofagasta Plc (LON:ANTO) for $1 billion.