n the dark days of the commodities meltdown, mining companies turned to partnerships to lower costs and survive. Now, as prices recover, they’re hooking up for growth — or at least the possibility of it. Canada’s two biggest gold miners, Barrick Gold Corp. and Goldcorp Inc., are teaming up to develop a gold-copper deposit in Chile as part of a complex chain of transactions.
The cultures of the two companies are, in many ways, opposites. Where Goldcorp has been focused on boosting production, Barrick has repeatedly stressed that its priority is improving cash flow through better margins.
Barrick’s latest joint venture with Goldcorp means it’s off the hook for the initial development costs associated with a large project in the Maricunga mineral belt, in exchange for handing over control of part of the asset.
Under terms of separate deals announced Tuesday, Goldcorp will acquire 25 percent of the Barrick-controlled Cerro Casale project in Chile. Goldcorp will also buy Kinross Gold Corp.’s 25 percent total interest in the deposit for $260 million upfront, as well as other deferred payments and a royalty, making Barrick and Goldcorp equal partners at the site.
Meanwhile, through the acquisition of Exeter Resource Corp., Goldcorp will buy the Caspiche project just 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from Cerro Casale, adding it to the new venture’s project mix.
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