Barrick Gold is inching closer with the sale of its 51% stake in the East Kundana gold mine in Western Australia, with speculation mounting that its joint venture partner for the mine, Tribune Resources could be the potential buyer.
East Kundana mine, which is located 21km west of Kalgoorlie, is considered to be a profit-making gold operation, with yields of approximately 12g of gold for each tonne, reports The West Australian.
Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold miner, is battling to restore profitability and is looking to sell its assets in Western Australia, including the Barnicoat gold project and Kanowna Plutonic mine.
The firm recently appointed UBS and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch to manage the sale of other Western Australian mines including Granny Smith, Darlot and Lawlers.
The steep drop in gold price and surging production costs in Australia have driven several miners to sell non-core assets and downscale operations, which have resulted in thousands of job cuts.
In 2013, gold prices declined 26% while the prices of other metals too fell sharply.
Barrick, which employs nearly 2,500 people across its Australian mines, has slashed 60 jobs from its Western Australian operations recently, and noted that there could be more job losses in the near future.
The company operates mines and advanced exploration and development projects on four continents.
Last week, Newmont Mining, the largest gold producer in the US, also agreed to sell its stake in Canadian Oil Sands for approximately $608m.
Image: Gold prices declined by 26% in 2013. Photo: courtesy of Bertrand Rieger / Corbis.