Barrick denies one of its executives recently met with First Quantum in Panama to talk M&A – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 19, 2024)

Barrick Gold Corp. ABX-T is disputing an account by a Panamanian official about an alleged meeting between one of its executives and First Quantum Minerals Ltd. in Panama to discuss a possible buyout deal. Vancouver-based First Quantum said this week it is considering a range of merger and acquisition options as it attempts to stem the financial damage caused by the closing of its giant Panama copper mine.

Ebrahim Asvat, a former adviser with the Panamanian government, told The Globe and Mail on Thursday that Juana Barceló, president of Barrick’s Pueblo Viejo operations in the Dominican Republic, was in Panama in early January, and met with people at First Quantum.

Kathy du Plessis, spokesperson with Barrick, wrote in an e-mail to The Globe that Ms. Barceló has not been to Panama recently, and the last time she was in the country was in early 2023 for a mining conference.

“She was introduced to some people from First Quantum, among many others, at this event, visited their booth at their invitation and attended a dinner at which they may have been present,” Ms. du Plessis said.

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