Chinese State owned mining company Zijin is the only company bidding to buy Barrick Gold’s Porgera mine according to reports from Bloomberg [see below].
If the sale goes through Porgera would be the third mine in PNG in Chinese hands. The Chinese already operate the Ramu nickel mine and have recently purchased the rights to build the Frieda river mine
Zijin Mining is based out of Fujian Province. It is the largest gold producer in China and second largest copper producer. It also produces zinc, tungsten and iron ore.
Barrick is looking to off load its troubled Porgera mine but most potential bidders will be wary of the mines troubled environmental and human rights record.
Final bidders emerge for Barrick’s Australian gold mine
David Stringer and Brett Foley | Bloomberg
Gold Fields Ltd. is among final bidders competing to acquire a $400 million US Australian mine from Barrick Gold Corp., people with knowledge of the matter said.
The Johannesburg-based producer and China’s Zijin Mining Group Co. submitted final offers for the Cowal gold mine in New South Wales state, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the details are private. They are competing with local suitors Evolution Mining Ltd. and Independence Group NL, which also submitted binding bids, they said.
Barrick, the world’s biggest gold miner, said last month it has fielded interest for mines it’s seeking to divest in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Chile. The Toronto-based company plans to reduce net debt by at least $3 billion US this year, partly by selling the assets and cutting staff at its head office.
Zijin Mining has also expressed interest in Barrick’s Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea, the people said. Representatives for Gold Fields, Independence Group and Evolution declined to comment, while spokesmen for Barrick and Zijin didn’t immediately respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment.
The Cowal mine, which produced 268,000 ounces of gold last year, may be worth at least $400 million, Morgans Ltd. wrote in an April 22 note to clients. Barrick, which is working with Credit Suisse Group AG on the potential sales, could raise as much as $1.1 billion from divesting Cowal and Porgera, TD Securities Inc. said in February.
Gold Fields, which purchased three Australian mines from Barrick in 2013, is hunting for mines with production costs equal to or lower than its existing assets, Chief Executive Officer Nick Holland said in a Feb. 12 interview. Its production at all major operating regions including Peru, Australia and South Africa fell in the three months to March 31, the company said May 7.
The South African producer had all-in sustaining costs of about $1,143 an ounce in the three months to March. That compares to equivalent costs of $740 to $775 an ounce at Cowal, according to Barrick.