Northern Nevada Business View
ELKO, Nev. — After years of discussion, Nevada’s two largest mining companies struck a deal this summer to join forces and combine operations in the world’s largest gold-producing complex.
The joint venture between Barrick Gold Corporation and Newmont Goldcorp Corporation ushers in a new era in Nevada hard rock mining. Barrick owns and operates 61.5 percent of the newly formed Nevada Gold Mines, while Newmont owns 38.5 percent of the company. By sharing assets and access to each other’s facilities, Nevada Gold Mines expects to save close to a half-billion a year.
NGM Executive Managing Director Greg Walker, who started with Barrick in 2002, has seen his share of failed merger discussions over the years. Just this year, Barrick tendered an $18 billion stock offer to acquire Newmont outright.
That plan, like many others, was scuttled — but with so many assets and ore bodies in proximity, it didn’t take a crystal ball to see that pooling those assets could increase value and extend mining capabilities.
“No one ever disputed the value, it was the corporate piece that (always) fell over in the past,” Walker says. “But this year when Barrick merged with Randgold, we got a new leader (Randgold Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow), and he immediately saw the synergies and said we’d make a lot more money if we put those assets together.”