Barrick Gold (NYSE:GOLD) announced today that it is selling three Western Australian gold mines to Gold Fields (NYSE:GFI) for $300 million.

The Yilgarn South assets contain proven and probable reserves of 2.6 million ounces, as well as 600,000 ounces of measured and indicated resources and 1.2 million ounces of inferred resources. For the first half of 2012, the mines churned up 196,000 ounces at all-in sustaining costs of $1,145 per ounce, $8 more than the 2012 average.

Source: Barrick. 

"The agreement to divest Yilgarn South demonstrates further progress as we work to optimize the company's portfolio and maximize free cash flow in line with our disciplined approach to capital allocation," said Barrick President and CEO Jamie Sokalsky in a statement today.

Gold Fields has the option to pay Barrick in its own shares for up to 50% ($150 million) of the total purchase price. For Barrick's part, the mining company will maintain its 2013 gold production guidance between 7.0 million and 7.4 million ounces at all-in sustaining costs between $900 and $975 per ounce.

Subject to regulatory approval and closing agreements, the deal should be sealed and recorded in Q4 2013.