TORONTO: Canadian gold miner Barrick Gold Corp moved closer to its asset sales target on Tuesday by agreeing to sell its entire 90 per cent stake in its Massawa project in Senegal to Teranga Gold Corporation for up to $430 million.

The sale is the latest by Barrick Chief Executive Of­­ficer Mark Bristow as he seeks to shed at least $1.5 billion of unprofitable mines by the end of 2020, following the company’s acquisition of Ran­­gold Resources a year ago.

The Canadian miner last month sold its half of the Kalgoorlie super pit gold mine to Australia’s Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd for $750m.

Barrick could also look to sell its Tongon mine in Ivory Coast and its Lumwana copper project in Zambia, analysts have said.

Barrick shares were up 1.2 per cent in early Toronto trading while the benchmark Canadian share index was flat.

Tuesday’s deal includes an upfront cash payment to Barrick of $300m and Teranga shares worth a total of $80m, giving Barrick close to an 11.5pc stake in the miner.

Gold miners have notched transactions worth more than $30bn this year as they seek to replace dwindling re­­serves and win back investors.

The consolidation has also led to a raft of mine sales around the world as top miners Barrick and Newmont Gold Corp focus on their best performing assets.

“You’ve seen a lot of these seniors consolidate and there are non-core assets for them that are quite meaningful for other companies like ourselves,” Teranga Chief Executive Officer Richard Young told Reuters on Tuesday.

The price also includes a contingent payment of up to $50m based on the average gold price for the three years from when the deal closes, the companies said.

Credit Suisse analyst Tariq Fahad said Barrick had now achieved 79pc of its divestment target when the value of Teranga shares was included.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2019