Feb 15 (Reuters) – Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), would be open to taking over Newmont’s (NEM.N) stake in its Nevada Gold Mines joint venture, CEO Mark Bristow said on Wednesday, after Newmont’s $16.9 billion bid for Newcrest (NCM.AX) ramped up pressure on gold miners to do deals.
Bristow though distanced himself from rival Newmont’s M&A push on Wednesday and highlighted Barrick’s plan to grow through exploration rather than acquisitions. Shares of Barrick Gold were trading 4% down at the Toronto Stock Exchange.
“We can’t see much strategic benefit in just getting big for bigness sake, and we don’t agree with you that it builds a better company with more gravitas,” Bristow said in response to investors concerns about the potential challenge a bigger Newmont posed.
“In fact, I believe it probably adds more risk.” However Barrick was interested in buying out Newmont’s share in its Nevada Gold Mines asset. The Newcrest acquisition by Newmont, if successful, could result in the enlarged company shedding some assets.
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