27 operating mines - advanced exploration

124.6 million ounces of gold reserves, 6.2 billion lbs of copper reserves & 1.03 billion ounces of silver

Message: Barrick takes $2.8-billion writedown, to sell mines

Rachelle Younglai

TORONTO - Barrick Gold Corp. took a $2.8-billion charge on its mines and hung the for sale sign on some of its Asia-Pacific assets, the company's latest moves to reduce its massive debt and come to grips with the slump in commodity prices.

The write down includes a nearly $1-billion charge on Barrick's Lumwana copper mine in Zambia, erasing the bulk of the value associated with its troubled Equinox acquisition. The purchase was made at the top of the cycle and has contributed to the company's $13-billion debt burden.

Barrick vowed to reduce its net debt by at least $3-billion by the end of this year and said it would start by selling one of its Australian mines and a Papua New Guinea mine.

The writedown led Barrick to report a net loss of $2.85 billion, or $2.45 per share, compared with a loss of $2.83 billion, or $2.61 per share, in the previous year.

More to come ...

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