Wednesday, May 22nd 12:47 PM IST

China's Zijin acquires yet another Aussie Gold mine

# Barrick Gold  # Aussie gold  # China gold  # Zijin  

Full ore production in the mine is expected in November 2013, when gold will be produced at an average rate of 110,000 ounces per annum.

PERTH(BullionStreet): Closing in on Barrick Gold's Yilgarn South group of mines, the 89 percent Zijin-owned Norton Gold Fields, Ltd. opened its latest open cut gold mine, Enterprise in Western Australia's Pilbarra.

Norton Gold Fields is also looking to acquire gold assets and this could include assets put up for sale by Barrick Gold Corp in Western Australia.

Analysts said this is a triumph of the symbiotic partnership between the Fujian-based Zijin and its Australian partner Norton, as shared knowledge and expertise literally prove their worth in gold.

The move suggests that forward looking Chinese operations with low cost capital and high technological capacities are stepping up activity in the global gold sector, just as many of the bigger Western operations are reining in spending in the wake of a 13 percent drop in gold prices since December 2012.

Full ore production in the mine is expected in November 2013, when gold will be produced at an average rate of 110,000 ounces per annum.

With rich synergies and complimentary ambitions, Zijin took control of Norton Gold Fields following a 229 million AU dollar bid, using the Perth-based company as a foothold in the Pilbarra to further acquisitions and joint venture opportunities.

The latest mine to feed Norton's Paddington mill fulfills Zijin's commitment to boost production, reduce unit costs and increase stakeholders' value.

Previously, Norton forecast gold output of 154,000 ounces to 162,000 ounces this calendar year from its Paddington mine in Western Australia.

In standing with the company's strategy to increase production and gold resources at the same time as trimming operating costs, the Australian unit of China's biggest gold producer, has indicated strong interest in three Barrick Gold Corp mines, reflecting strong confidence in the gold's prospects despite a recent drop in prices.

Rising demand for gold bullion and jewellery peaked in China as gold prices slid last month.The interest in Australian gold assets has investors running a ruler through other ASX listed gold companies.

China produced around 410 metric tons of gold in 2012, but consumed nearly 800 tons. The Asian economy is the world's biggest producer of the precious metal, ahead of Australia.

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