Barrick CEO to Forge Ahead in Latin America Despite Past Strains – by Danielle Bochove and Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – January 10, 2019)

Barrick Gold Corp.’s new boss intends to push ahead with plans to increase investment in the mineral-rich — but environmentally tricky — deposits straddling the Chile-Argentina border.

“If you want to find elephants, go to elephant country,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow, a South African geologist and big-game hunter, said in a phone interview. The Toronto-based company “absolutely” intends to invest more money in the El Indio copper-and gold belt, he said, adding that its partnerships with Chinese and Chilean miners remain key to its strategy in the region.

The world’s largest gold miner, which completed its merger with Randgold Resources Ltd. at the beginning of the year, had been revamping its South American strategy since John Thornton became chairman in 2014.

Barrick formed a joint venture at its Veladero mine in Argentina in 2017 with Shandong Gold Mining Co., and formalized an agreement with the Chinese miner to work on other projects. Barrick also sold a 50 percent stake in its Zaldivar mine in Chile to form a venture with Antofagasta Plc in 2015.

“Zaldivar is an important asset for us, in partnership with Antofagasta, and my interest is how do we build that partnership further,” Bristow said. “First of all to Latin America, but also along the whole of that copper-gold porphyry geological belt, which runs all the way up the west coast of the Americas.”

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