Newmont’s CEO rejects talk of bids for Barrick, Randgold

Gary Goldberg, Newmont Mining Corporation CEO (File image: NMC)

Newmont Mining Corp. Chief Executive Officer Gary Goldberg squashed speculation that Barrick Gold Corp.’s offer for Randgold Resources Ltd. would tempt Newmont to make its own play.

When asked about the speculation that’s been raised since the Barrick-Randgold merger was announced on Monday, Goldberg referenced past attempts at possible Newmont-Barrick tie-ups and said there was “no value proposition.”

“We have looked in the past and haven’t seen anything, and I don’t see anything changing,” Goldberg said in an interview at the Denver Gold Forum in Colorado Springs.

Newmont would interested in buying Barrick’s half of their shared Kalgoorlie mine in Australia, but not the entire company.

Canada’s Barrick agreed on Monday to buy London-listed Randgold for about $5.4 billion, creating a global gold mining behemoth with a focus on Africa and the Americas in the biggest gold deal of the past three years. The news also revived speculation Barrick may return to the negotiating table with Newmont for a new tie-up after talks between the two collapsed in 2014 over differences on issues including the leadership of the combined company.

“I think they need each other,” Goldberg said of the Barrick-Randgold deal, which was the biggest topic of discussion at the industry conference.

Where Goldberg says he does see opportunities with Barrick around the two companies’ Nevada assets. He also said he would still be interested in buying Barrick’s half of their shared Kalgoorlie mine in Australia, which Newmont operates. The purchase would have to be at “fair value,” Goldberg said.

On Nevada, Goldberg said there could be deals that would unlock synergies in the Carlin area. Both Newmont and Barrick have core mines in the state.

Barrick Executive Chairman John Thornton and Randgold Resources’ CEO Mark Bristow have both talked about the opportunities some sort of “unification” in Nevada could bring.

“Everyone’s got a little bit different concept” of what those deals could be, Goldberg said when asked about the possible unification. “I think my view is we’re always welcome to sit down and talk about ideas.”

Goldberg pointed to Newmont’s internal pipeline of projects as creating value for shareholders and said the company is focused on the long term. He said he’s comfortable with the company’s outlook of producing about 5 million ounces of gold annually through 2024.

“The industry has proven when you chase ounces you lose value,” Goldberg said.

Shares of Greenwood Village, Colorado-based Newmont rose 0.5 percent to close at $31.25 Tuesday. Barrick advanced 1.5 percent in Toronto, while in London Randgold jumped 4.6 percent.

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