Barrick Gold is looking to sell its Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea and Cowal mine in Australia as part of effort to lower its debt by at least $3bn by the end of this year.

Porgera mine

The plans are announced as part of the company’s fourth quarter and full year 2014 results.

For the fourth quarter, the company recorded net loss of $2.85bn due to after-tax impairment charges related to the Lumwana mine and the Cerro Casale project.

To reduce debt, Barrick will also implement a leaner, decentralized operating model and joint ventures and strategic partnerships as well as cancel or sell projects that cannot achieve up to 15% return on invested capital.

Barrick Gold is also reducing headcount at its Toronto head office to 140 positions this year thereby its corporate administration expense would be around $145m in 2015.

Four prefeasibility studies are planned to be completed this year to accelerate growth projects near existing mines in Nevada.

The company expects to produce about 6.6 million ounces of gold at costs of $860 – $895 per ounce this year with plans to have annual gold production from existing portfolio in excess of six million ounces in 2016 and 2017.

Image: The lower half of the Porgera processing plant. Photo: courtesy of Richard Farbellini.