TORONTO (Reuters) – Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) could have nine of the world’s top gold mines in a “relatively short” time under its $6.1 billion acquisition of African miner Randgold Resources Ltd (RRS.L), Barrick Executive Chairman John Thornton said Thursday.
Barrick and Randgold will focus on Tier 1 assets which produce 500,000 ounces of gold annually, have a mine life of more than 10 years and are low cost. The combined company, subject to a Nov. 5 shareholder vote, will have five of the world’s top 10 Tier 1 assets, Thornton said.
“This combination could have as many as nine Tier 1 assets within a relatively short period of time,” he said on a conference call with analysts to discuss quarterly financial results.
Barrick’s Fourmile project and Turquoise Ridge mine in Nevada have “high potential” to become Tier 1 assets, Thornton said, adding there is also optimism about what can be done with its Veladero mine in Argentina and Acacia’s North Mara mine in Tanzania.
Talks with the government of Tanzania, to resolve a long-running tax dispute affecting Barrick’s Acacia Mining unit, are continuing but have slowed, senior vice-president Kevin Thomson said on the call.