Barrick to get $1.5 billion for Chilean copper mine

Barrick to get $1.5 billion for Chilean copper mine

Zaldivar mine.

Canada's Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX)(TSX:ABX) could raise more than US$1.5 billion for its Zaldivar copper mine in Chile if the miner goes ahead with alleged intentions to sale the asset in order to reduce leverage.

The gold miner, has become less focused on its copper assets and, according to the Sunday edition of The Financial Times (subs. required), it is likely to entertain offers for Zaldivar, about 1,400km north of Santiago.

There are several potential buyers out there, as Chinese companies, private equity firms including Mick Davis’s X2 Resources, and even Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.A, TCK.B), (NYSE: TCK) are all said to be on the hunt for copper assets.

Barrick has not said it would definitely sell Zaldivar but the miner would find a substantial offer difficult to resist for what has become a non-core commodity. Some of Barrick’s investors have also urged a divestment of the mine. (FT.com)

Zaldivar, one of Barrick’s key assets, is located next to Escondida – the world’s largest copper mine.

Last year the open-pit operation produced 222 million pounds of copper and it is expected to yield 240-260 million this year.

Image courtesy of Barrick Gold.