Canada’s Barrick (TSX, NYSE:ABX) and Goldcorp (TSX:G) (NYSE:GG), the world’s No.1 and No.3 producers of the precious metal by value, are teaming up to develop projects in northern Chile, particularly Cerro Casale, one of the world’s largest gold-copper deposits.
As part of the agreement, Barrick has sold a 25% stake in Cerro Casale to Goldcorp, which will result in a 50-50 joint venture focused on building gold mines in Chile’s prolific Maricunga belt.
The move, a fresh sign that miners are moving from cost-cutting to expanding operations and investing in exploration, also prompted Goldcorp to acquire Exeter Resource Corporation (TSX:XRC) for about $250 million. The takeover makes of Goldcorp the sole owner of the Caspiche gold-copper project, conveniently located only 10 km north of Cerro Casale.
“With the acquisition of Caspiche and 50% of Cerro Casale, we envisage the two deposits being jointly advanced with Barrick, similar to our existing arrangement with Teck Resources at NuevaUnión,” Goldcorp’s President and Chief Executive Officer David Garofalo said in a separate statement.
He noted the joint venture with Barrick would allow them to consolidate infrastructure to reduce costs, reduce the environmental footprint and provide increased returns compared to two standalone projects.
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