Barrick pursuing acquisitions despite operations and projects review

Canadian Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX), the world’s largest producer of the precious metal, said it would continue to pursue acquisition opportunities despite the full review of its operations and projects announced in July.

Mike Feehan, Barrick’s Australia Pacific president, told journalists attending the Diggers and Dealers conference in Australia’s Kalgoorlie, that the ongoing review shouldn’t stop Barrick from evaluating the acquisition of new assets, reports AAP.

“It goes back to the financial criteria that the company would use, and if it fits into that framework and is something that adds value to the company, we would look at any opportunity that presents itself.”

Last month, CEO Jamie Sokalsky, said that Barrick would review its mines and projects to determine which ones offer enough return on the investment. He also announced the company was delaying the start-up of its Pascua-Lama mine, straddling the border between Chile and Argentina, for about a year, since a review of the company’s development projects showed that South American mine costs would jump as much as 60%.

“Based on information gathered to date, it is apparent that the challenges of building a project of this scale and complexity were greater than we anticipated,” said Sokalsky.

The Toronto-based gold producer operates 26 mines and advanced exploration projects worldwide with 140 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves.