Canadian mining firm Barrick Gold, is in talks with a Chinese firm to sell part or all of its 74 percent stake in London-listed African Barrick Gold, which is Tanzania’s largest gold producer.

Barrick Gold, which is the worlds largest global producer of gold,  has confirmed it is in preliminary discussions with China National Gold (China Gold) , the state-owned mine, which is operates about 60 mines in China and focuses on non-ferrous metals including gold, silver, copper and molybdenum.

“Discussions are at an early stage, and there can be no certainty that these discussions will result in the acquisition of all or part of Barrick’s holding in ABG,” said Barrick Gold.

African Barrick Gold (ABG) produces 700,000 ounces of gold and aims to reach annual production of one million ounces of gold by 2014. ABG is ranked among Africa’s Top 5 old producers.

“The Board of ABG notes the announcement made today by Barrick in which Barrick confirmed that it is in preliminary discussions with China National Gold Group Corporation (“China Gold”) regarding its holding in ABG. At this stage, there can be no certainty that these discussions will result in an offer for Barrick’s holding in ABG. Should China Gold acquire more than 30 percent of the voting interest in ABG, it would then be required to make an offer for the whole of ABG’s issued ordinary share capital,” read a statement posted on the website of ABG.

The firm runs four producing mines, all located in the northwest of Tanzania and has several exploration projects at various stages of development. In 2011, ABG produced 688,278 attributable ounces of gold.

The firm has began to expand its footprints outside Tanzania.

The ABG recently acquired rights to prospect for gold in western Kenya. The ABG announced it had entered into an agreement with Aviva Corporation Limited to acquire all of the outstanding share capital of Aviva Mining (Kenya) Limited , the assets of which include interests in a number of licenses in West Kenya, for initial cash consideration of $20 million.

“This acquisition represents the first step in expanding our footprint outside of Tanzania and building our future growth pipeline. The acquisition is an attractive entry into an under explored and highly prospective land package in a country bordering our existing operations. Whilst Kenya is a relatively new mining destination, it has a solid transport infrastructure, a stable government and ABG already has an established supply chain in country.” said ABG’s CEO Greg Hawkins


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