UPDATE 3-Barrick raises $720 mln from sale of stakes in Nevada assets

Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:44pm EST
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(Adds comments from Kinross CEO)

By Euan Rocha and Susan Taylor

TORONTO Nov 12 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp said on Thursday it will sell its stake in four non-core assets in Nevada for $720 million, putting the Canadian mining firmly on track to meet its 2015 debt-reduction target amid a multi-year slump in gold prices.

The world's largest gold producer will sell its 50 percent interest in the Round Mountain mine and 100 percent of the Bald Mountain mine to Kinross Gold for $610 million in cash. The two miners also agreed to form an exploration joint venture for a large land package at Bald Mountain.

Separately, Toronto-based Barrick will sell its 70 percent stake in the Spring Valley project and 100 percent of the Ruby Hill mine to subsidiaries of Waterton, a mining-focused private equity firm, for $110 million in cash.

"The sale of these assets is consistent with our strategy to create long-term value for our shareholders by strengthening the balance sheet and further focusing our portfolio on core mines," Barrick President Kelvin Dushnisky said in a statement.

Barrick, which pledged to cut $3 billion from its $13.1 billion in debt this year, said it has raised $3.2 billion this year through asset sales, including the deals announced on Thursday, joint ventures and partnerships.

Although bullion slumped to near six-year lows on Thursday, Barrick shares rose 2 percent, as investors cheered the sale price on assets that some analysts had initially pegged at $300 million to $450 million.

Kinross shares fell 3.3 percent.   Continued...