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Barrick 'back to the future' with Randgold merger

Shareholders of mining major Barrick Gold have overwhelmingly approved the proposed US$6.1 billion share-for-share merger with Africa-focused Randgold Resources.
Barrick 'back to the future' with Randgold merger Barrick 'back to the future' with Randgold merger Barrick 'back to the future' with Randgold merger Barrick 'back to the future' with Randgold merger Barrick 'back to the future' with Randgold merger

Henry Lazenby in Toronto

More than 99% of shareholders voted Monday to approve the share issuance related to the transaction and the continuance of Barrick under British Columbia business law.

"Today marks an important step in our journey of taking Barrick back to the future.The combination of Barrick and Randgold will create the compelling gold investment," executive chairman John Thornton said during a special meeting of shareholders.

Barrick said 99.8% of the votes cast, representing about 683.04 million votes, were cast in favour of the merger, and 99.2% voted in favour of the continuance in BC.

The merger was expected to be completed on January 1, 2019, subject to approvals by Randgold shareholders, the Royal Court of Jersey and other customary closing conditions.

Randgold said Monday its Jersey court meeting was adjourned until Wednesday because of an increase in dividend. The extraordinary general meeting of shareholders to vote on the recommended Barrick acquisition via a plan of arrangement under the Companies (Jersey) Law of 1991 would follow at 11:15am.

Nevada interest

The Barrick shareholder vote came amid further rumours about Barrick reviving talks with US-based miner Newmont to acquire or combine its Nevada assets.

News agency Reuters reported out of London on Monday that Barrick was in talks with Newmont to combine their Nevada gold mining operations, citing two unnamed sources.

Barrick and Newmont explored a Nevada union in 2014 without reaching a deal.

Barrick spokesman Andy Lloyd told Mining Journal the company was "interested in exploring such a possibility, but that we are not in any talks at present with Newmont".

A Newmont spokesman declined to comment, citing company policy not to comment on rumours and speculation regarding M&A.

Newmont produced 1.8 million ounces of gold in Nevada in 2017 and has additional processing capacity that would benefit Barrick Nevada. Barrick Nevada is a key part of Barrick's portfolio, having produced 2.3Moz, or 43% of Barrick's total output in 2017.

Barrick Gold shares gained nearly 2% Monday to C$17.60 and the London-quoted shares of Randgold gaining half a per cent to finish at £63.45.