BEIJING Dec 19 China National Gold Corp is set to make an announcement soon on its talks over buying a stake in African Barrick Gold, an executive at the state-owned Chinese company said on Wednesday.
African Barrick's parent, the world's top gold miner Barrick Gold Corp, had said in August that it was in talks with China Gold to sell all or part of its 74 percent stake in the African miner.
A 74 percent stake would be worth about $2 billion, and if successful, the deal would be one of China's largest mining deals in Africa and the latest move among Chinese mining companies overseas as they look to meet soaring demand for gold at home.
"We are now in contact with Barrick regarding its 74 percent stake in African Barrick," said Wu Zhanming, vice president of China Gold International Resources Corp Ltd, the unit of China Gold that oversees its foreign operations.
"As to whether (we will acquire) 74 percent or 100 percent, we will consider comprehensively based on regulatory rules, market rules, as well as our own intentions," he told Reuters.
Asked about an announcement, Wu said: "This is hard to say. It will be in the near term."
Should China Gold buy more than 30 percent of the voting interest in African Barrick, it would be required to make an offer for the whole company.
China Gold is looking to double mined gold output to 2 million ounces a year by 2015.