KALGOORLIE (miningweekly.com) – Barrick Gold’s project review announced last month would not deter the world’s biggest bullion producer from pursuing new acquisition opportunities, Australia Pacific president Mike Feehan said on Tuesday.
He told journalists at the Diggers and Dealers conference, in Australia’s Kalgoorlie, that the ongoing review was unlikely to restrict Barrick from looking at purchasing new assets.
“It goes back to the financial criteria that the company would use, and if it fits into that framework and is something that adds value to the company, we would look at any opportunity that presents itself.”
At the end of July, CEO Jamie Sokalsky announced that Barrick would review its projects to determine which were worth pursuing, with the gold miner also delaying the development of two mines in Alaska and Chile as global economic conditions deteriorated.
Feehan added that the company would not restrict itself when looking at project criteria, but would consider projects in all phases of development, and of varying sizes.
“You can look at longer-term projects that are basically new, exploration targets that have recently been discovered, or if you wish to add x-amount of ounces to the production profile quickly, you could acquire an asset that is already producing.”
Barrick was currently producing the bulk of its products from its US and Australian assets, with the miner expected to produce between 7.3-million and 7.8-million ounces during 2012.
Feehan noted that global demand for the yellow metal would continue to grow while supply failed to keep pace with the rising gold price. He added that the industry was also dealing with a number of complexities that it was faced with in the past, including the difficulty of finding new deposits, resource nationalism, development constraints, the shortage of skilled labour and more stringent environmental regulations.