Archive | Gold and Silver

OPINION: How society pays a high price for gold – by Thomas Walkom (Toronto Star – March 13, 2019)

https://www.thestar.com/

I grew up over a gold mine. That didn’t make me rich. My father worked in the mine; he didn’t own it. Even if he had, neither we nor the other families that lived on this particular mine property just outside Timmins would have been rich.

In those days, when the price of bullion was pegged at $35 U.S. an ounce, many Canadian gold mines survived only through government assistance. But living there did make me curious about the sought-after but seemingly pointless metal upon which my community relied. So when a friend mentioned that he was working on a documentary about gold. I was eager to see it.

The Shadow of Gold is an ambitious exploration of a metal that still fascinates the world. More than anything else, gold is an idea. It is desired simply because it is desired. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Gold giants have yet to shake one of the industry’s chronic problems: excessive executive pay – by Jeffrey Jones (Globe and Mail – March 13, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Barrick Gold Corp. had promised to usher in a new era of discipline in gold mining when it announced a blockbuster plan to take over U.S. rival Newmont Mining Corp. in a US$17.8-billion deal.

Now that it has dropped its major offensive, one of the industry’s chronic problems – excessive executive pay – has bubbled up again. This time, the target of investor wrath is Ian Telfer, chairman of Goldcorp Inc.

Mr. Telfer stands to pocket US$12-million in Goldcorp’s sale to Newmont – a deal that predated the Barrick-Newmont proposal and could have been scrapped because of it. That’s nearly three times what had been reported as his retirement package before last week. Following the steady deterioration in the company’s stock price over the past decade, it has Goldcorp investors spitting fire. Continue Reading →

The huge risks and rewards of [Barrick’s] Papua New Guinea’s Porgera gold mine – by David James (Business Advantage PNG – March 13, 2019)

https://www.businessadvantagepng.com/

The Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea’s Enga Province is a world class gold mine but, as Executive Director for Barrick (Niugini) Ila Temu explains, it is also one of the world’s most difficult mines to operate.

Drainage, breakdowns in the infrastructure and illegal mining are the three challenges Porgera miners and executives face.

But the rewards are also great. Despite the severe obstacles, Porgera’s production in 2017 was about 500,000 ounces of gold and 204,000 in 2018 (with production affected by the Highlands earthquake).

Barrick Gold Corporation’s new President and CEO, Mark Bristow, explained during his recent trip to Papua New Guinea that the future of the Porgera mine is considered promising. ‘When you look at the current plans of Porgera, it has the potential to be able to deliver 500,000 ounces [per annum] for the next 10 years,’ he reportedly said. Continue Reading →

Barrick drops $18-billion hostile bid, signs Nevada joint venture with Newmont Mining – by Niall McGee and Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – March 12, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp. have agreed to team up in a joint venture in Nevada that will see Barrick drop its hostile bid for its biggest rival and unite the world’s two biggest gold miners in one of the richest goldfields on the planet.

The accord means Colorado-based Newmont is far more likely to succeed in its efforts to buy Goldcorp Inc. and bypass Barrick as the world’s biggest gold company. Barrick’s pursuit of Newmont had threatened to derail the US$10-billion deal that was announced in January.

The Barrick-Newmont ownership split announced on Monday will be 61.5 per cent in favour of Barrick with the Toronto-based miner also named as the operator. The agreement will see gigantic mines, including Barrick’s Goldstrike and Cortez operations, along with Newmont’s Carlin, unite under one roof. Continue Reading →

Pakistan military eyes key role developing giant copper and gold mine – by Drazen Jorgic (Reuters U.K. – March 11, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s military is taking a key role in the development of one of the world’s biggest untapped copper and gold deposits, which is currently stalled by a multi-billion dollar legal wrangle with foreign mining firms, multiple sources familiar with the situation said.

The Reko Diq mine has become a test case for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ability to attract serious foreign investment to Pakistan as it struggles to stave off an economic crisis that has forced it to seek an International Monetary Fund bailout.

Ten current and former provincial and federal government officials and mining sources familiar with the project in the Baluchistan region say the military has become the most important voice on the future of Reko Diq, which it sees as a strategic national asset. Continue Reading →

Gold Miners Don’t Quite Put a Ring on It – by Liam Denning (Bloomberg News – March 11, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Barrick and Newmont finally strike a deal, but it won’t move the needle much.

It’s amazing what just talking it out can achieve. After a parade of insults, suspect numbers and pitch decks, Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp. have agreed to a deal.

It isn’t the deal Barrick originally pushed for; namely, a hostile full takeover of its rival. Instead, they will holster their Excel models and form a partnership in the one asset anyone really cares about: their Nevada mining operations.

On balance, it looks as if Barrick got most of what it wanted. It will run the Nevada joint venture and control three of the five board seats governing it. Ownership of 61.5 percent reflects Barrick’s much bigger resource base in the region (as my colleague David Fickling laid out here), with Newmont giving ground on its earlier proposal of a 55/45 split. Continue Reading →

Is the Barrick-Newmont joint venture a ‘stepping stone’ to a bigger deal? – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – March 12, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

When asked if the venture was a prelude to something else, Barrick CEO Mark Bristow chuckled: ‘I’m not prepared to comment on that’

Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp., the two largest gold producers in the world, ended their feud Monday and agreed to work together in the Nevada desert where both companies operate vast mining complexes.

Almost immediately, questions surfaced about whether it was a prelude to a larger deal between the two giants and Barrick chief executive Mark Bristow declined to rule out such an idea. Asked by one analyst whether the Nevada joint venture is merely “a stepping stone” to greater consolidation, Bristow chuckled.

“I’m not prepared to comment on that,” he said.As part of that agreement announced Monday, however, Toronto-headquartered Barrick agreed to drop its US$17.8 billion hostile bid for Colorado-headquartered Newmont and to commit to a two-year standstill that prevents further action. Continue Reading →

Tanzania orders cleanup at Acacia gold mine, threatens closure – by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala (Reuters U.K. – March 7, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Acacia Mining Plc must halt waste water pollution at its North Mara gold mine in Tanzania by March 30 or the facility will be shut down, the country’s mining minister said on Friday.

Doto Biteko said Acacia needs to stop contaminated water seeping from a waste storage dam at the mine to nearby communities in the country’s north.

“The life of even one Tanzanian is worth more than their gold mining activities,” Biteko told Reuters. Acacia Mining said it had stopped a temporary overspill at the mine, blaming vandals for destroying sections of the pipe it uses to move waste water. Continue Reading →

Megamerger Push Has Gold Miners Eyeing New Dance Partners – by Danielle Bochove and Justina Vasquez (Bloomberg News – March 8, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

A push by the world’s biggest gold miners to get even bigger will likely have a knock-on effect among their competitors, adding new vigor to an industry that failed to inspire investor support in 2018.

The megamerger mania now under way for Newmont Mining Corp., Barrick Gold Corp. and Goldcorp Inc. is likely to result in some of their assets being sold, helping to diversify portfolios for other miners and boosting the interest of investors. More importantly, it could force mid-tier companies to team up in order to successfully compete.

“This is a competitive marketplace in terms of attracting capital, and you have to make a decision at some point,” Michael Siperco, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Markets, said in a telephone interview. “Yamana, Kinross, Iamgold — what’s the strategy here in terms of not getting absolutely left behind?” Continue Reading →

Barrick Withdraws $17.8 Billion Hostile Bid for Newmont – by Joseph Richter and Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – March 11, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Barrick Gold Corp. is withdrawing its $17.8 billion hostile takeover bid for Newmont Mining Corp., with the companies opting instead to forge a joint venture around their Nevada projects.

The change came weeks after Barrick proposed an all-share offer that would have created the world’s largest gold producer. After Newmont’s board rejected the bid, Newmont Chief Executive Officer Gary Goldberg proposed the joint venture as an alternative both companies could gain from.

Barrick’s decision ends two weeks of animosity between the gold producers, and helps Newmont focus on securing shareholder approval for its previously announced offer to buy Goldcorp Inc. Newmont raised doubts about the Barrick bid from the start, saying its Goldcorp move offered better benefits. Continue Reading →

Australia’s Newcrest Mining takes 70 per cent stake in B.C. mine from Imperial Metals – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 11, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

One of Australia’s largest miners is buying a majority interest in a B.C. mine from Imperial Metals Corp. for US$806-million, providing a cash injection for the struggling Vancouver company that is backed by billionaire executive Murray Edwards.

Melbourne-based Newcrest Mining Corp. struck a deal on the weekend for 70 per cent of Imperial’s Red Chris property, a mine that opened three years ago and last year produced 12,000 ounces of gold.

Imperial’s board has been conducting in a strategic review of the business as it tries to get out of financial trouble. In 2014, a catastrophic tailings dam failure forced Imperial to suspend operations at its Mount Polley copper-gold mine in British Columbia for almost a year. Imperial has also dealt with operating problems at Red Chris since it started production in 2015. Continue Reading →

HISTORY: Museums offer first-hand account of local history – by Karen Bachmann (Timmins Daily Press – March 8, 2019)

https://www.timminspress.com/

Timmins Museum curator Karen Bachmann talks about opportunities to get historic accounts “from the horse’s mouth.”

Three things I learned this week: 1) Never believe them when they say “it’s a done deal”; 2) Never say “yes” when you really mean “no, thank you” and 3) Never, ever, let someone else tell your story.

The first two I already knew – I just needed to be reminded of those principals. The last came as a hard lesson – especially for a curator who should, at the end of the day, know better.

Museums in particular are coming a little late to the party – while we house artifacts and objects and images, that stuff really is nothing without a story that makes it all come to life. I can have people walk through my collections area and look at artifacts, but the “stuff” becomes real for them when I can tell them a story that related to that artifact. Continue Reading →

Timmins at the centre of new gold mining documentary – by Maija Hoggett (Northern Ontario Business – March 6, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Click here for Part 1 and 2: https://bit.ly/2UqZJr2 and https://bit.ly/2TySjp5

With gold running deep through the region’s veins, a new documentary is focussing on Timmins’ rich history with the industry. Northern Gold is an original two-part documentary series debuting on TVO this week.

“It is, in a nutshell, about the history of mining in Northern Ontario told through the lens of one mining town, Timmins, Ontario,” explained director/producer Catie Lamer.

Knowing that TVO was looking at exploring gold as a theme, Lamer started digging into different histories. In Northern Ontario, she said, they found an “untold hidden history” of its impact in gold mining and how the industry shaped Ontario and Canada’s economy. Continue Reading →

Why Barrick wants to merge with Newmont: Gold is harder to find and mining it is more expensive – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – March 6, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Barrick Gold Corp.’s sudden expansionist desires are driven by the same concerns as the rest of the industry — it’s getting harder to find gold and more expensive to mine it, according to John McCluskey chief executive of Alamos Gold Inc.

Barrick is pursuing a $17.8-billion hostile bid for its arch rival, Newmont Mining Corp., in a deal that would combine the two largest gold companies into a firm of unparalleled size.

If successful, it would have numerous consequences for the rest of the gold industry, potentially laying the groundwork for future asset sales and consolidation, and also potentially pulling new generalist investors into the high-risk, high-reward precious metals sector. Continue Reading →

Barrick, Newmont work toward joint-venture deal – by Niall McGee and Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – March 6, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The chief executives of Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp. are working to reach agreement on a critical joint-venture deal that could stave off a high-stakes takeover battle, but deep divisions remain between the world’s largest gold producers.

Barrick CEO Mark Bristow and Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg were scheduled to meet in New York on Tuesday evening to discuss terms of a possible joint venture (JV) at their adjacent Nevada mining operations, according to a source familiar with the talks who was not authorized to speak publicly. Major shareholders of both companies are urging executives to solve long-standing disagreements over the proposal.

Newmont on Monday rejected Barrick’s US$17.8-billion all-stock, zero premium takeover offer, and instead proposed a joint-venture agreement in Nevada between the two companies. Newmont proposed an ownership split of 55 per cent in favour of Barrick with both companies sharing management responsibilities. Continue Reading →