Barrick Gold Corp. says a political row between Saudi Arabia and Canada likely won’t impact its copper operations in the Kingdom.
According to a report in the Financial Times, Saudi Arabia has started selling Canadian assets en masse, including stocks and bonds.
The dispute broke out after the Canadian government called on the Saudis to release arrested civil-rights activists and signalled concern at a new crackdown in the country.
Barrick co-owns the Jabal Sayid copper mine in Saudi Arabia alongside the predominantly state-owned Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden).
“Over the past four years we have developed a strong partnership with Ma’aden, working side by side at our Jabal Sayid joint venture, and we expect that partnership will continue to deepen over time,” Barrick spokesperson Andy Lloyd wrote in an email to the Globe and Mail on Wednesday.
Ma’aden did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jabal Sayid is the smallest of Barrick’s three copper mines. The company also has copper mines in Zambia and Chile.
Barrick acquired its copper assets primarily through its US$7.3-billion purchase of Equinox Minerals Ltd. in 2011.
Ma’aden paid US$210-million to acquire its 50 per cent stake in Jabal Sayed from Barrick in 2014.
The mine started commercial production in 2016 and Barrick’s share of production amounted to 43 million pounds of copper last year.