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Rating Action:

Moody's upgrade Barrick's ratings to Baa1; outlook stable

29 Oct 2020

Toronto, October 29, 2020 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") today upgraded the senior unsecured ratings of Barrick Gold Corporation ("Barrick") and all rated subsidiaries to Baa1 from Baa2. The outlook remains stable.

"The upgrade reflects Barrick' track record of low leverage and strong cash flow generation and our expectation that the company will maintain annual production at 4.5 million to 5 million ounces per year while adhering to conservative financial policies" said Jamie Koutsoukis, Vice President, Moody's analyst.

Upgrades:

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

....Gtd Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Upgraded to Baa1 from Baa2

..Issuer: Barrick Gold Corporation

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Upgraded to Baa1 from Baa2

....Gtd Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Upgraded to Baa1 from Baa2

..Issuer: Barrick Gold Finance Company

....Gtd Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Upgraded to Baa1 from Baa2

..Issuer: Barrick International Bank Corp.

....Gtd Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Upgraded to Baa1 from Baa2

..Issuer: Barrick North America Finance LLC

....Gtd Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Upgraded to Baa1 from Baa2

..Issuer: Placer Dome Inc.

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Upgraded to Baa1 from Baa2

Outlook Actions:

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

....Outlook, Remains Stable

..Issuer: Barrick Gold Corporation

....Outlook, Remains Stable

..Issuer: Barrick Gold Finance Company

....Outlook, Remains Stable

..Issuer: Barrick International Bank Corp.

....Outlook, Remains Stable

..Issuer: Barrick North America Finance LLC

....Outlook, Remains Stable

..Issuer: Placer Dome Inc.

....Outlook, Remains Stable

RATINGS RATIONALE

Barrick's credit profile (Baa1 stable) benefits from 1) its low adjusted leverage (0.9x at Q2/20), 2 ) large scale (5.2 Mozs of attributable gold LTM June 2020), 3) diverse and low-cost gold assets (total cash costs of $716 per ounce in Q2/20), and 4) track record of positive cash flow generation and excellent liquidity. The company's credit is constrained by 1) the volatility of gold prices, and 2) geopolitical risk at some of its mine locations. Barrick's production is expected to fall in 2020 with guidance of 4.6 - 5.0 Mozs for the year (5.5 Mozs in 2019) and we expect leverage will remain near 1x (using a $1,700/oz gold price sensitivity in 2020 and $1,400/oz in 2021).

Barrick's liquidity is excellent, which provides significant flexibility to maneuver through gold price volatility. Barrick has $8.7 billion in liquidity sources over the next twelve months with no meaningful uses during this period. Sources consist of cash of $3.7 billion at June 2020, an undrawn $3 billion revolver (expires in January 2025) and expected positive free cash flow generation of about $2 billion at a $1,700/oz gold price sensitivity for the remainder of 2020 and $1,400/oz for 2021. Maturities are minimal with less than $10 million in debt due over the next year. Barrick's credit facility has financials covenants including maintenance of net debt to total capitalization of less than 60%. Barrick's net debt to total capitalization was 4% as at June 30, 2020 and we expect ample headroom to be maintained.

The stable outlook reflects Barrick's ability to maintain production on a competitive all-in cost basis, continue to be free cash flow generative, and that Barrick will continue to manage its free cash flow to balance between investments and shareholder returns in order to maintain credit metrics in-line with Baa1 rating.

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OR DOWNGRADE OF THE RATINGS

The rating could be upgraded should Barrick be able to increase its product diversity without increasing its geopolitical risk profile, maintaining its cost profile and continues its disciplined approach to capital allocation as it relates to capital investments, and shareholder returns. An upgrade would also require Barrick sustain leverage at no more than 1.5x (0.9x at Q2/20) and (CFO-Dividends)/Debt of at least 50% (66% at Q2/20) through various commodity price points.

Ratings could be downgraded if the company's operating profile were to deteriorate materially from a production and cost basis, the company's leverage is maintained above 2.5x (0.9x at Q2/20), or (CFO-dividends)/debt be sustained below 40% (66% at Q2/20).

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Mining published in September 2018 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1089739. Alternatively, please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Barrick Gold Corporation is one of the world's largest gold producers, with mines in the US, Canada, Peru, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Papua New Guinea and Africa, and copper mines in Chile, Saudi Arabia and Zambia. Revenues for the twelve months ending June 2020 were $11.3 billion.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions in the disclosure form. Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions can be found at: https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_79004.

For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

The ratings have been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agent(s) and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

These ratings are solicited. Please refer to Moody's Policy for Designating and Assigning Unsolicited Credit Ratings available on its website www.moodys.com.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Moody's general principles for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our credit analysis can be found at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1133569.

The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the EU and is endorsed by Moody's Deutschland GmbH, An der Welle 5, Frankfurt am Main 60322, Germany, in accordance with Art.4 paragraph 3 of the Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on Credit Rating Agencies. Further information on the EU endorsement status and on the Moody's office that issued the credit rating is available on www.moodys.com.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Jamie Koutsoukis
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Canada Inc.
70 York Street
Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M5J 1S9
Canada
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Donald S. Carter, CFA
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Canada Inc.
70 York Street
Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M5J 1S9
Canada
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

No Related Data.
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