Barrick says strong interest in U.S. gold asset sale

Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:48pm EDT
 
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By Nicole Mordant

(Reuters) - There has been strong interest in a package of six U.S. gold assets that Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) wants to sell, a senior Barrick executive said on Sunday, adding that he expects a deal to close before year end.

The interest has been largely from North American-based miners, Barrick President Kelvin Dushnisky said.

Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp NEM.N and Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corp K.TO are likely buyers of the assets, an investment banking source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Kinross declined to comment and Newmonth could not immediately be reached for comment.

As part of its plan to cut at least $3 billion in debt this year, Barrick, the world's biggest gold producer, last month said it would sell six of its U.S. gold mines and projects: Bald Mountain, Round Mountain, Spring Valley, Ruby Hill, Hilltop and Golden Sunlight assets.

"We just started it (the sale) but already the level of interest is extremely high," Dushnisky told Reuters in an interview at the Denver Gold Forum, an annual gold industry conference.

"We initiated the process as a package but we are open-minded. If it makes sense to split it up and we will get better value as a whole for that, we will certainly consider it," he said.

Dushnisky declined to put a value on the asset package, which analysts have said could bring in between $500 million and $700 million.

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Barrick Gold Corp Chairman of the board John Thornton (L), Co-President Kelvin Dushnisky (C), and Co-President Jim Gowans (R) get up after their annual general meeting for shareholders in Toronto, April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch