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UPDATE 3-Barrick pursues expansion despite $1.5 bln in planned asset sales

Nichola Saminather

(Adds future growth opportunities, asset sales figures; updates share price)

TORONTO, May 8 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp , the world's second-largest gold producer, said on Wednesday it is still open to new investments, even as it plans to shed $1.5 billion of less productive mines.

The Toronto-based company would be interested in copper and gold assets, and also in pure copper if it has a competitive advantage over traditional miners, Chief Executive Mark Bristow said on an analyst call.

Barrick said in a statement it sees the "most exciting" growth opportunities in Latin America, where it plans to expand its mines in the Dominican Republic and Argentina. It also sees potential for increased production at Kibali in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as at the company's Fourmile project in Nevada.

Fourmile is not included in Barrick's Nevada joint venture with rival Newmont Mining, expected to be implemented this quarter, but Bristow said that could change in the future.

The company is also looking at prospects to the north and in Canada, it said.

Following the close of its $6.1 billion takeover of Randgold Resources in January, Barrick's new management has focused on streamlining operations and reviewing assets to focus on its best-performing and lowest-cost mines.

"The new Barrick is off to a strong start but there is a long road ahead of us and much still to be done to achieve our goal of becoming the most valued gold company," Bristow said in the statement.

Barrick said adjusted net income was 11 cents a share, versus analysts' forecast of 9 cents a share. Quarterly net income of $111 million, or 6 cents per share, fell from $158 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier, but Barrick said the merger had impacted the results.

Shares were last trading down 1.7% at $16.83 in Toronto, compared with a 1.6% loss in the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index.

The company reiterated its 2019 production forecast of 5.1 million to 5.6 million ounces of gold, up at least 13% from 2018, but said all-in sustaining costs (AISC) were expected to rise to between $870 and $920 an ounce, from $806 a year ago.

Gold production rose to 1.37 million ounces at AISC of $825 per ounce, compared with 1.05 million ounces at $804 per ounce a year ago. Copper production increased to 106 million pounds from 85 million pounds.

The company also declared a quarterly dividend of 4 cents a share. (Reporting by Nichola Saminather; editing by Bernadette Baum, Susan Thomas and G Crosse)