Barrick expects to take up to $3 billion in impairment charges
(Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote), the world's biggest gold producer, said it expects to take charges of up to $3 billion following an annual accounting impairment review.
The company said it may have to take a goodwill impairment charge of about $1.8 billion, and asset impairment charges of $1.0-$1.2 billion, based on its preliminary analysis.
The asset writedown is primarily related to its Pascua-Lama mining project, on the border of Chile and Argentina, and its Pueblo Viejo project in Dominican Republic.
Barrick also said it met its $3 billion debt reduction target through non-core asset sales.
Pueblo Viejo, which is jointly owned by Barrick and rival Canadian producer Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote), in November faced mechanical problems resulting in reduced production in operation until mid-January 2016.
The Pascua-Lama project, which was suspended in 2013, has been facing complications from Chile's environmental regulator SMA.
The company said on Thursday it assumes gold price of $1,000 per ounce for 2016 and a long-term gold price of $1,200 per ounce, for impairment testing purposes.
Barrick estimated 2015 gold production of 6.12 million ounces of gold, in line with its expectations of 6-6.15 million ounces.
The company said 2015 copper production was estimated at 511 million pounds, also in line with its expectations of 480-520 million pounds. Continued...