Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:ABX) (TSE:ABX) will be a stock to watch this morning as the gold giant said it has ended talks to sell its 74 per cent stake in African Barrick Gold plc (LON:ABG) to China National Gold.
President and CEO of the world's biggest gold company, Jamie Sokalsky, did not rule out a sale to another party, but said that it "will only proceed with opportunities that generate acceptable value for Barrick" in a "prudent and disciplined" approach, adding that the discussions were part of its ongoing efforts to optimize its portfolio.
"African Barrick Gold's assets hold significant potential, and we will continue to look for ways to best realize that value for our shareholders."
Shares in African Barrick Gold shed more than 19 per cent to 358.65 pence in London early afternoon trade.
Barrick said it continues to implement "a disciplined capital allocation framework" focused on maximizing returns and free cash flow, and is looking at its entire portfolio as part of this process.
In early November, Barrick reported a sharp decline in third quarter profit related to impairment charges tied to an exploration property in Papua New Guinea, as well as unrealized losses on derivative investments.
The latest results also reflected lower gold and copper sales volumes, higher cost of sales applicable to gold, and lower realized gold prices.
The gold miner's producing gold mines are in North America, South America and the Australia Pacific, and it also holds a 73.9 per cent equity interest in African Barrick Gold, which owns gold mines and exploration properties in Africa.
Gold production was lower in its third quarter at 1.78 million ounces, compared to 1.9 million ounces, while copper production also fell to 112 million pounds, down from 140 million pounds a year ago.
Monday night, rival Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) (TSE:G), raised its annual dividend 11 per cent, hiking its monthly payout to 5 cents a share from 4.5 cents.