Exclusive: Barrick Gold weighs sale of $1.9 billion Acacia stake - sources

Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:59pm EDT
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By John Tilak and Nicole Mordant

TORONTO/VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp, the world's largest gold producer, is weighing a sale of its majority stake in African unit Acacia Mining Plc and has approached several South African miners, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The potential sale would be part of Barrick's broader strategy of selling non-core assets to reduce its debt load. The Toronto-based company offloaded stakes in several mines last year.

The talks are at an early stage and there is no assurance a deal will be done, the sources said.

Barrick owns 64 percent of Acacia, a London-listed miner with three producing gold mines in Tanzania: Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi and North Mara. Much of the remainder of Acacia is widely held.

Acacia also has exploration projects in the East African country and other parts of Africa.

Acacia has a market capitalization of about 2.23 billion pounds ($2.93 billion), making Barrick's stake worth around $1.9 billion.

Barrick has reached out to South African miners Harmony Gold Mining Co Ltd, Sibanye Gold Ltd, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, Randgold & Exploration Co and Gold Fields Ltd, as well as some Australian and North American miners, said the sources, who declined to be identified as the matter is not public.

Barrick spokesman Andy Lloyd declined to comment.   Continued...

Barrick Gold Corp Chairman of the board John Thornton looks on during their annual general meeting for shareholders in Toronto, April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch