Barrick Gold Corporation (TSE:ABX)has shaped a strategic partnership with Zijin Mining. In partnership – Zijin Mining will acquire 50% of Barrick (Niugini) Limited or BNL (ABX; 95%) in Papua New Guinea which manages the Porgera JV. The firm will pay $298 million in cash and the transaction is expected to be finished in third quarter of 2015. The companies intend to collaborate on future projects and joint investments.
Zijin will acquire 50 percent of Barrick (Niugini) Limited (“BNL”), the company which owns 95 percent of and manages the Porgera Joint Venture gold mine in Papua New Guinea. In addition, Barrick and Zijin have signed a long-term strategic cooperation agreement which outlines the intent of both companies to collaborate on future projects and joint investments, leveraging the strengths of each company.
“A twenty-first century mining company with global reach and the intention to become an industry leader must, by definition, have a distinctive relationship with China. This is particularly true in our industry, where China has become both the largest producer and consumer of gold, and a major source of capital and expertise for the mines of the future,” said Barrick Chairman John L. Thornton. “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.”
“A strategic partnership with Barrick is an excellent fit for Zijin and a powerful combination as we look to expand our business globally outside of China. Our companies have complementary expertise and experience and share a common vision for creating long-term value for our owners,” said Zijin Chairman Chen Jinghe. “Barrick has strong international operating presence and experience as well as many of the best assets in the gold industry, while we have unrivaled access to the Chinese market, including distinctive engineering and construction management capabilities and advanced technology. We are excited to leverage our competitive strengths together, to start with at Porgera, while exploring additional joint opportunities for the future.”
By partnering with Zijin, Barrick advances two fundamental objectives set out as part of the company’s “back to the future” strategy. The first is to strengthen the company’s balance sheet; the proceeds from the transaction will be used to pay down debt. The second is to form strategic partnerships that will create long-term value for all stakeholders.