UPDATE 1-Barrick Gold to sell Kanowna mine in Australia

Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:37pm EST

TORONTO Jan 22 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp said on Wednesday it has agreed to sell its Kanowna gold mine in Western Australia to Northern Star Resources Ltd for A$75 million ($66.4 million), as part of its move to sell non-core assets and focus on its lower cost mines.

The mine produced about 225,000 ounces of gold in 2013. It contains proven and probable reserves of roughly 600,000 ounces, along with measured and indicated resources of another 600,000 ounces.

The deal is the latest in a string of asset sales by Barrick, which is attempting to reduce its debt load, strengthen its balance sheet and regain favor with investors.

Last August, Barrick agreed to sell three of its high-cost gold mines in Australia to Gold Fields Ltd for $300 million.

The three mines, Granny Smith, Lawlers and Darlot, accounted for 6 percent of Barrick's gold output in 2012 and less than 2 percent of the gold miner's proven and probable reserves as of Dec. 31, 2012.

In the last six months, Barrick has sold $850 million worth of short life, high-cost and non-core assets. The company also completed a massive $3 billion equity issue late last year, as part of moves to shore up its balance sheet.

Goldcorp Inc and Barrick are looking to sell their jointly owned Marigold mine in Nevada, according to sources familiar with the situation.

UBS Securities Canada Inc and BofA Merrill Lynch are acting as financial advisers to Barrick on the sale of the Kanowna asset.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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