Barrick Gold eyeing Canada for acquisition opportunities – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 8, 2019)

Barrick Gold Corp.’s new chief executive says the company is sizing up a number of acquisition opportunities in Canada as it looks to boost investment in its home country.

“If you look at the corporate structure, the biggest gap is the fact that it’s under invested in Canada,” Barrick chief executive officer Mark Bristow said in an interview late last week.

Barrick last week completed its US$6-billion acquisition of rival gold miner Randgold Resources, and Mr. Bristow, Randgold’s founder, formally took over as Barrick’s CEO after being named in September to take the post. Amid Mr. Bristow’s pending leadership, Barrick made steep cuts to staff at its Toronto head office and a revamp of the board has left just one Canadian director.

Despite the corporate pullback in Canada, Mr. Bristow says the Toronto-based miner is considering buying Canadian mining companies or exploration assets. In particular, Barrick, the world’s biggest gold miner, is looking at acquiring what are known as single-asset companies, smaller firms with only one mine, that may be struggling for various reasons, Mr. Bristow said.

“We’re looking at some due diligence opportunities, which are assets that might not be working as well as they should be,” he said. “You can deliver synergies in some of these big single-asset projects that are inefficiently run,” he added.

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