Barrick Argentina projects likeliest for partnerships: exec

Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:31pm EDT
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By Susan Taylor

TORONTO (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) hopes to develop a "steady stream" of projects on its land in the El Indio belt in Argentina, making it the likeliest candidate for a partnership deal, a top executive said in an interview on Thursday.

Toronto-based Barrick is open to offers to buy or take stakes in its five major mines, including Veladero in Argentina, President Kelvin Dushnisky also said earlier, after Reuters reported the company had held talks with Chinese miners.

China's Zijin Mining (601899.SS: Quote) and Shandong Gold Mining (600547.SS: Quote) have held separate discussions with Barrick about buying a 50 percent stake in Veladero, according to four sources with knowledge of the process.

Two sources had told Reuters that Barrick would like the buyer of a stake in Veladero to also invest in neighboring Pascua-Lama, which straddles the border of Argentina and Chile.

El Indio, a 140-km (87-mile) stretch of land, is home to Veladero and Barrick's Pascua-Lama and Alturas projects.

"We're hopeful that we'll have a steady stream of projects over the years that we develop in the El Indio belt and that would be an area where it would make a lot of sense for us to bring in a partner," Dushnisky said in the phone interview.

"I would signal that the El Indio area is one that would probably be a more likely candidate at this point."

Partnership deals allow miners to combine capital, technical expertise and other abilities, he said, adding that more such deals can be expected.   Continued...

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