Barrick, Newmont commit to Nevada gold venture

Barrick Gold's Turquoise Ridge mine in Nevada. Source: Barrick Gold Corp.

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Barrick Gold’s Turquoise Ridge mine in Nevada. Source: Barrick Gold Corp.

Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX-TSX, NYSE] has abandoned its hostile bid for Newmont Mining Corp. [NEM-NYSE] and will instead create a joint venture that will combine the two companies’ Nevada gold mining operations.

The deal, announced on Monday March 11, allows Newmont to complete a friendly merger with Goldcorp Inc. [G-TSX; GG-NYSE] that was announced on January 14, 2019.

“The joint venture is a historic accord between two gold mining companies, which have operated in Nevada for decades, but have previously been unable to agree terms for co-operation,” Barrick Gold said in a press release, Monday.

The joint venture will allow them to capture an estimated $500 million in average annual pre-tax synergies in the first five full years of the combination, which is projected to total $5 billion pre-tax net present value over a 20-year period.

Following completion of the joint venture, the Nevada complex will be the world’s single largest gold producer, with pro forma output of more than 4.0 million ounces in 2018, three Tier one assets, potentially another one in the making, and 48 million ounces of reserves.

Barrick will act as operator of the joint venture and hold a 61.5% ownership stake. Newmont will hold a 38.5% interest.

Barrick Gold shares advanced on the news, rising 1.27% or 22 cents, to $17.56 on volume of 5.6 million shares traded.

Goldcorp jumped to a day high of $14.77 on Monday, before slipping back to $14.40 for a gain of 0.14% or $0.02.

Newmont Mining shares rose 2.43% or US82 cents to US$32.89.

Barrick President and CEO Mark Bristow said the deal marked the successful culmination of a deal that had been more than 20 years in the making.

“We listened to our shareholders and agreed with them that this was the best way to realize the enormous potential of the Nevada goldfields’ unequalled mineral endowment, and to maximize the returns from our operations there,” he said.

“We are finally taking down the fences to operate Nevada as a single entity in order to deliver full value to both sets of shareholders, as well as to all our stakeholders in the state, by securing the long-term future of gold mining in Nevada.”

Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg agreed that the logic of combining the two companies was compelling.

“This agreement represents an innovative and effective way to generate long-term value from our assets in Nevada, and represents an important step forward in expanding value creation for our shareholders,” Goldberg said.

Under the agreement, Barrick will contribute its Goldstrike, Cortez, Turquoise Ridge, Goldrush and South Arturo assets to the joint venture.

Newmont will contribute its Carlin, Twin Creeks, Phoenix, Long Canyon, and Lone Tree assets. Also included in the joint venture will be associated processing facilities and other infrastructure.

However, it will not include Barrick’s Fourmile project and Newmont’s Fiberline and Mike deposits. Those assets may be included at a later date if the required investment hurdles are satisfied.

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