Barrick said to weigh sale of Tongon mine amid asset disposals
Barrick Gold (TSE: ABX) is considering a sale of its Tongon Gold mine in the Ivory Coast as the company ramps up asset disposals following its purchase of Randgold Resources Ltd., people familiar with the matter said.
The miner is working with Bank of Nova Scotia to identify buyers for the asset, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The company aims to start a formal sale process in the near term for part or all of its stake, the people said. Deliberations are at an early stage, and Barrick may decide against selling the operations, they said.
Rising gold prices are triggering more deal activity as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts expect prices will continue to climb in the next six months. The volume of gold asset acquisitions has risen nearly sixfold this year compared to the same period in 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s a boon for Barrick as it works to offload assets after spending $5.4 billion to buy Randgold.
Barrick is separately working with advisers at Scotiabank to find a buyer for its Massawa gold project in Senegal, the people said. The company is considering divesting other projects including the Lumwana copper mine in Zambia, they said.
A representative for Barrick declined to comment. A representative for Scotiabank didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Barrick has a nearly 90% stake in the Tongon gold mine, which is located 682 kilometers (424 miles) north of the coastal city of Abidjan. The Ivorian government and local investors own the remainder, according to the company’s website. The mine produced more than 230,000 ounces of gold in 2018 and expects to produce as many as 270,000 ounces this year.
Newmont Goldcorp Chief Executive Officer Gary Goldberg said in a recent interview that he’s interested in buying out Barrick’s stake in the Kalgoorlie Super Pit, an asset jointly owned by the two companies that ranks as Australia’s biggest open-pit gold mine.
(By Dinesh Nair, Vinicy Chan and Scott Deveau)