Barrick Gold May Sell Zaldivar Copper Mine In Chile, Receives “Hold” Average Rating from Brokerages

By @ibtimesau on
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IN PHOTO: An overview of Barrick Gold Corporation's Pueblo Viejo gold mine, one of the world's largest, is seen in Cotui December 11, 2013. Less than a year after Pueblo Viejo began commercial production, the Dominican Republic's plan to diversify its tourism-dependent economy by inviting in foreign mining companies is in a holding pattern. Picture taken December 11, 2013. To match Feature GOLD-DOMINICANREPUBLIC/ REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas

Reports are flaunting that Canadian miner Barrick Gold could be divesting its Zaldivar copper mine in Chile, a move to reduce its overall debt payables. The sell off could amount to over US$1.5 billion.

A report by the Financial Times said the sale could entice investors from China and perhaps private equity firms. Mick Davis’ X2 Resources was specifically mentioned in the report. Teck Resources could also get interested. Both firms are currently hunting for mining deals.

With a total outstanding debt of US$11.65 billion, based on Thomson Reuters data, Barrick’s investors have pushed for a divestment of the Zaldivar copper mine, despite the miner saying it has no plans to get rid of it. In February, Barrick said it will divest its Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea and its Cowal gold mine in Australia to help reduce net debt by at least $3 billion by yearend 2015.

Meantime, 19 brokerages have given the Canadian miner a consensus rating of “Hold,” a report by Sleek Money said. Analysts at Jefferies Group have lowered the price target on shares of Barrick Gold $12.00 from a previous $12.50 in a research note on Tuesday, March 10th. A “hold” rating on the stock was likewise advised.

Shares of the Toronto-based Barrick Gold traded down 0.56 percent during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $10.60. The company’s market cap is $12.35 billion.

Zaldivar is located next to Escondida, considered the world’s biggest copper mine. in 2014, the open-pit mine gave off 222 million pounds of copper. It is forecast to produce 240-260 million in 2015.

Barrick Gold Corporation is the largest gold miner in the world. In 2013, it produced 7.2 million ounces of gold at all-in sustaining costs of US $915/ounce and 539 million pounds of copper at C1 cash costs of $1.92/pound.

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