In discussing its second quarter results, Barrick Gold slipped in two very interesting bits of information.
First, president and CEO Mark Bristow said the company is seeking a buyer for its 50% interest in the Kalgoorlie gold mine – commonly known as the Super Pit – in Australia. The mine is currently operated by joint venture partner Newmont Goldcorp. Bristow said that since Barrick is not the operator, the company will not consider the mine a core asset. The name of Australian miner Northern Star has popped up in speculation as to what company would buy half the Super Pit.
Second, Bristow admitted the company has met with Senegal president Macky Sall to float the idea of a consolidated gold industry in that country. Barrick’s Massawa project could become part of a larger operating complex shared by other regional miners. He mentioned several mid-cap miners who might be interested in an arrangement similar to the one Barrick and Newmont Goldcorp share in Nevada.
Barrick has expressed interest in selling its Massawa mine in Senegal and perhaps its Tongon mine in Cote d’Ivoire as part of a strategy to raise $1.5 billion.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)