Barrick Vows Not to Grow for Growth’s Sake – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – February 22, 2018)

Barrick Gold Corp. managed to cling to the title of world’s largest miner in 2017, but Executive Chairman John Thornton made it clear he won’t be pressuring the troops to repeat that this year.

With rival Newmont Mining Corp. breathing down its neck, Barrick won’t be giving in to the temptation of seeking growth for growth’s sake. Thornton said Barrick looked at a “number of external opportunities” in 2017 and passed on all of them.

In mining, history shows that when times are good, companies overpay for “mediocre assets and invest in projects with low returns,” he said Thursday at the company’s Investor Day in Toronto. “At Barrick, this will not happen.”

Similarly, Chief Financial Officer Catherine Raw stressed that Barrick is driven by the need to generate cash flow and returns, not by production.

About 50,000 ounces — or about 125 gold bars — is all that stood in the way of Newmont taking the mantle of world’s biggest bullion producer.

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