Big chunk of Barrick's blockbuster stock offer goes unsold

The price of gold received a nice bump from Fed chair nominee Janet Yellen on Thursday adding as much as $25 to a day high of $1,293.80 and giving a boost to beaten down gold stocks.

While the likes of Goldcorp (TSE:G), up 2.4%, Kinross (TSE:K) with a 3.9% gain and AngloGold Ashanti, (NYSE:AU) a 5.1% jump, all enjoyed strong gains, the world's top goal miner Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:ABX) (TSE:ABX) stayed flat.

By the close on Thursday Barrick Gold changed hands at $18.11 on news that the Toronto-based company's blockbuster US$3 billion stock sale, the largest in Canadian corporate history, was met with limited enthusiasm.

The Toronto-based miner announced at the end of October it is issuing 163.5 million common shares at $18.35 per share, more than 5% below the ruling price at the time, to pay down debt.

The deal closed today and according to the underwriters led RBC Capital Markets, Barclays and GMP Securities have been left with around 40 million unsold shares.

Not surprising considering that Barrick shares can now be picked up cheaper on the open market.

Barrick Gold's 2013 has been difficult to say the least. Not only did the company – set to mine roughly 7 million ounces this year – take a beating from the declining gold price some its pain was self-inflicted.

Chief among Barrick Gold's troubles is Pascua Lama.

After capex ballooned to $8.5 billion and with almost $6 billion already spent, the company suspended construction of the project on the border between Chile and Argentina the same day the stock sale was announced.

Barrick has sold more than $7 billion worth of stock since 2007 and is now worth $18.1 billion in New York, down 48% so far this year and nowhere near its $54 billion market value a mere two years ago.

Image of anti-Pascua Lama graffiti by Marian Dörk