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Barrick selling 3 mines to Gold Fields for $300M

NEW YORK (AP) -- Barrick Gold Corp. is selling three of its gold mines in Australia to another gold miner, Gold Fields Ltd., for about $300 million, the Canadian company's latest asset sale.

The company is trimming back its business, cutting $2 billion in costs this year and slashing its dividend after a long sell-off in gold prices and problems at Barrick's $8.5 billion Pascua-Lama mine in Chile.

But Barrick said Thursday that it was maintaining its 2013 gold production forecast.

Gold Fields on Thursday also reported a loss for its most recent quarter hurt by hefty one-time charges, lower gold production and prices. Its shares fell 35 cents, or 6 percent, to $5.80 in premarket trading.

Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland said that once integrated into his company's operations, the mines will boost its production, free cash flow and credit ratings. The South African company also has operations in its home country, along with Ghana and Peru.

The deal is expected to close on Oct. 1.

Barrick said it plans to use the proceeds from the sale for general corporate purposes including the repayment of debt. Its shares gained 37 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $19.44 before the opening bell.