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Mining giant Barrick Gold has sold its stake in the Kanowna Belle and Kundana mine operations in Western Australia, to Northern Star Resource for A$75m ($66.3m).

Located 20km north-east of Kalgoorlie, the Kanowna Belle open pit gold mine produced about 225,000oz in 2013.

The Kundana gold mine consists of three individual gold mines, Hornet, Rubicon and Raleigh.

The sale process is part of the company’s optimisation programme to strengthen the overall quality of the its portfolio.

As part of the optimisation programme, Barrick has announced that it is divesting short-life, high-cost and non-core assets for a total consideration of about $850m over six months, to reduce production costs.

Barrick noted that the Kanowna mine has proven and probable reserves of 0.6 million ounces, measured and indicated resources of 0.6 million ounces and inferred resources of 0.4 million ounces as of 31 December 2012.

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Kanowna Belle and Kundana mines are mined by longhole stoping and underhand longhole bench stoping with paste fill methods.

Additionally, geotechnical driven mining sequence and a fill system is employed to minimise the impact of mining-induced stress on the underground operations.

Barrick has its headquarters in Canada and operates 27 mines and numerous exploration projects across five continents.

Image: Hauling development rock from underground through the Kanowna Belle open pit.