BUZZ-Barrick Gold Corp: To cut debt by $3 bln

Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:46pm EST
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** Biggest bullion producer's U.S.-listed shares up 5 pct at $12.85; Toronto-listed shares up 5.6 pct at C$16.06

** Canadian miner said on Wednesday it will sell Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea and its Cowal mine in Australia to help reduce net debt by at least $3 bln by year-end

** To reduce size of its Toronto head office to lower costs

** Expects to produce 6.2 mln-6.6 mln ounces of gold in 2015. Miner produced 6.25 mln ounces in 2014

** Brokerage TD Securities upgrades to "buy"

** "We believe that management's debt-reduction target is credible and with a core of producing assets that can maintain current production levels for at least the next three years (and probably longer) ... , Barrick is now a more focused, leaner gold producer," the analysts write

** Up to Wednesday's close, the stock had fallen 31.7 pct on the Toronto Stock Exchange in the past 12 months