Barrick doubles down on allegations of overvaluation by Acacia – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – June 27, 2019)

Barrick Gold Corp. says its proposal to acquire Acacia Mining PLC is “fair,” and it’s doubling down on claims that its London-based subsidiary has overvalued some of its mines.

In a statement on Wednesday, Barrick said that “certain assumptions made by Acacia in relation to its mine plans are not appropriately risked or supportable and that adjustments should be made.”

Last week, Barrick expressed skepticism about the true value of some of Acacia’s assets, suggesting its own analysis shows that Acacia may be overestimating grade and underestimating costs at some of its mines.

On Monday, Acacia said it “strongly disagrees” and “sees no reasonable basis” for the assessment. The company said that independent consultant SRK Consulting (UK) Limited recently concluded that Acacia’s resource modelling for its mines is “robust.”

Acacia declined further comment on Wednesday. Last month, Toronto-based Barrick said it was willing to acquire the 36.1 per cent of Acacia that it doesn’t already own for US$285-million in stock. At the time, the proposal was worth about 9 per cent less than Acacia’s market value.

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