U.S. Markets open in 2 hrs 1 min

Newmont agrees to sell New Zealand gold mine to OceanaGold

(Adds deal details, context)

April 29 (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp said on Wednesday it has tentatively agreed to sell its Waihi gold mining operation in New Zealand to OceanaGold Corp for around $106 million plus a 1 percent net smelter royalty on a recent discovery near the mine.

As part of the letter of intent, OceanaGold will acquire all of Waihi's open pit and underground mining assets and liabilities, including all social, environmental and employee obligations, Newmont, the biggest U.S. gold miner, said in a statement.

The deal is subject to board, regulatory and other approvals.

Hit by weaker precious and base metals prices, Newmont and its peers have in the past two years been selling off non-core operations in an attempt to cut debt and focus management attention on their most profitable assets.

The $106 million price tag comprises $101 million in cash and a $5 million contingent payment.

The Waihi mine, which is located about 150 km (94 miles) southeast of Auckland, produced around 132,000 ounces of gold in 2014.

(Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; editing by Diane Craft and Richard Chang)