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Announcement:

Moody's reviews Barrick Gold's ratings for possible downgrade

Global Credit Research - 25 Apr 2011

Approximately $5 billion of debt securities placed under review

New York, April 25, 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service placed the Baa1 rating of Barrick Gold Corporation and the Baa1 backed ratings of all subsidiary issuers under review for possible downgrade. The review results from Barrick's offer to acquire Equinox Minerals Limited in an all cash transaction approximating US$7.7 billion.

Barrick has entered into a support agreement to acquire Equinox (traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange) for a cash consideration of C$8.15 per Equinox share (C$7.3 billion or approximately US$7.7 billion), a 30% premium to Equinox's closing price on February 25, 2011. The company's acquisition of Equinox will be financed through a combination of cash on hand and $5 billion in new credit facilities. Pro-forma for the transaction, Moody's estimates that leverage, as measured by the debt/EBITDA ratio, would be 2.3x (on a fully debt financed basis), versus actual of 1.1x at year-end 2010. Equinox's assets consist of an operating copper mine in Zambia, which produced roughly 146,700 tonnes of copper in 2010 and an under construction copper project in Saudi Arabia.

Moody's review will focus on the earnings and cash flow to be generated from the acquisition and include an analysis of production levels and costs, the Zambian mine being relatively high cost; the potential to increase the reserve life and any cost efficiencies that can be achieved. The review will also consider the construction profile of the mine in Saudi Arabia, the costs necessary to complete and the time frame to which full ramp-up in production is expected. The future expansion opportunities and costs in conjunction with the completion of Barrick's strategic projects currently in process, Pascua Lama and Pueblo Viejo and current pipeline of projects will also be part of the review. Also included in the review will be the terms of the financing and Barrick's objectives with respect to the level of debt it intends to carry in its capital structure, particularly given the volatility in prices for its key metal exposures -- gold and copper -- and the ongoing investment requirements to maintain and grow production.

On Review for Possible Downgrade:

..Issuer: Barrick (PD) Australia Finance Pty Ltd

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

..Issuer: Barrick Gold Corporation

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa1

..Issuer: Barrick Gold Finance Company

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

..Issuer: Barrick Gold Financeco LLC

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa1

..Issuer: Barrick International Bank Corp.

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

..Issuer: Barrick North America Finance LLC

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa1

..Issuer: Placer Dome Inc.

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Barrick (PD) Australia Finance Pty Ltd

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Barrick Gold Corporation

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Barrick Gold Finance Company

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Barrick Gold Financeco LLC

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Barrick International Bank Corp.

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Barrick North America Finance LLC

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Placer Dome Inc.

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on Moodys.com for the last Credit Rating Action and the rating history.

The principal methodology used in rating Barrick Gold Corporation and all subsidiary issuers was the Global Mining Industry Methodology, published May 2009.

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Barrick Gold Corporation ranks as one of the largest gold producers and has a good niche position in copper. In 2010, the company produced 7.77 million ounces of told and generated revenues of $10.9 billion.

New York
Carol Cowan
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
Glenn B. Eckert
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's Investors Service
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's reviews Barrick Gold's ratings for possible downgrade
No Related Data.
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