Barrick Gold wants to reduce debt of roughly $10 billion by almost a third this year and talks to sell two gold mines – Cowal in Australia and Porgera in Papua New Guinea – are at and advanced stage.
The world’s top gold producer may also look at disposing of its Zaldivar copper mine in Chile.
In an interview with the Financial Times John Thornton, chairman of the Toronto-based miner, would not comment on specific sale plans or negotiations for Barrick’s copper business.
But Thornton, who took over as chairman almost a year ago did indicate what a good deal may look like:
“I could imagine a joint venture in which, let’s say, we sold a minority interest to a party [with] a world-class chief executive and that chief executive was going to run the copper business the way he thought made sense.
“We would build the business with him. We would be majority owner or even 50-50 owner. It would build value for us.”
Mr Thornton said it would be a “good example” to assume that Barrick could go into a partnership with someone such as Mr Davis.
Sounds like just about everyone is hoping to get into bed with Mick Davis and his $5.6 billion X2 Resources fund these days. Not surprisingly, X2 declined to comment for the story says the FT.