Sale of Barrick gold mine dies

January 9, 2013

The $3 billion deal that would have seen Barrick Gold selling its controlling stake of its African business to China’s state-owned miner, China National Gold Group, was killed as the firms failed to agree on the a value for a 74 percent stake in African Barrick Gold, Tanzania’s largest gold miner.

The deal would have been the largest gold firm takeover involving a Chinese company.

Barrick is the world’s largest gold producer with output of 7.7 million oz in 2011.

“These discussions were part of our ongoing efforts to identify opportunities to optimise our portfolio,” Barrick’s Chief Executive Jamie Sokalsky said in a statement.

He added that the company will continue to look for opportunities that “generate acceptable value for Barrick.”

African Barrick Gold said it would review its business operations after the collapse of the deal.

The company has struggled to meet production targets in recent years due to rising costs and operational setbacks, and in October it cut 2012 production forecasts.

African Barrick Gold’s mines have faced a series of problems in recent years. In 2011, police killed seven people after a crowd of 800 raided one of the company’s mines for gold.

At the same time it failed to hit planned production levels at two other mines.

Analysts say the deal floundered after China National Gold's “due diligence” process into production shortfalls at Barrick’s operations.



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