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Barrick Gold continues to sell gold assets, more to come?

Barrick Gold continues to sell gold assets, more to come?

Barrick Gold is cleaning house.

The Canadian mining company has announced two deals in the past week, agreeing to sell its Cowal gold mine to Evolution Mining Ltd. for $550 million, as well as signing a $298 million deal with Chinese miner Zijin Mining Group to sell 50 percent of its stake in the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea.

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The recent transactions are among several planned sales aimed at helping Barrick streamline operations in order to cut costs and reduce debt. The company has previously outlined plans to cut debt by $3 billion by the end of 2015.

Barrick also announced it had signed a “long-term strategic co-operation agreement” with Zijin to co-operate on future projects and investments.

"Our partnership with Zijin is the first step in a long-term strategic relationship with one of China's leading mining companies—a multi-faceted partnership that will provide significant opportunities to work together on an ongoing basis as we continue to create value for our respective owners.”

Zijin, one of China’s largest gold and copper producers, called the partnership with Barrick an “excellent fit.”

"Our companies have complementary expertise and experience and share a common vision for creating long-term value for our owners," Zijin chairman Chen Jinghe said.

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Barrick Gold has sold six mines since 2012 for a total of $1.3 billion. Five of those mines are located in Australia. Barrick’s only remaining Australian gold-mining interest is the Kalgoorlie Super Pit operation, which the miner has a 50 percent stake in.

“The sale of Cowal is consistent with the strategy we have outlined to create long-term value for our owners, making a significant contribution to our debt-reduction target while further focusing the geographic footprint of our portfolio,” said Barrick Co-President Kelvin Dushnisky.

The next potential sale for Barrick could be the Zaldivar copper mine in Chile.

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