Precious Metals


Barrick Gold and Randgold Resources’ US$18.3-billion deal made waves on day one of the Denver Gold Forum. Plus a look at other highlights from the event.

This year’s Denver Gold Forum kicked off on Monday (September 24) with the news that major miner Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX,NYSE:ABX) plans to acquire Randgold Resources (LSE:RRL).

The US$18.3-billion deal will create the world’s largest gold company by value as well as output, and was the talk of the show. Reactions to the transaction appear largely optimistic overall, with market watchers suggesting that Barrick may be preparing for a turnaround in the gold sector.

One potential concern about the purchase is how Barrick’s John Thornton and Randgold’s Mark Bristow will mesh. Bristow has criticized Barrick and other large gold miners in the past for lacking discipline, and is known for running a tight ship at Randgold.

For now, however, both seem committed to making the union work. “We have no intention to changing the way we run the company at Randgold,” said Bristow on Monday. “And if there’s anything that John and I are completely aligned on, it’s that model.”

Bristow will be president and CEO at the new company, while Thornton will be executive director. Both Barrick and Randgold were scheduled to present at the Denver Gold Forum on Tuesday (September 25), but their slots were canceled on Monday morning after the announcement.

Scroll on for more highlights from the first day of the Denver Gold Forum. And stay tuned as we cover the rest of the three-day conference.

Denver Gold Forum, day 1: Notes from the floor

While the Barrick/Randgold news stole the show on Monday, the first day of the Denver Gold Forum also brought updates from other companies in the midst of their own deals. Here’s a look at a few.

Speaking during the morning, Equinox Gold (TSXV:EQX) CEO Christian Milau ran through details on the company’s acquisition of New Gold’s (TSX:NGD,NYSEAMERICAN:NGD) Mesquite gold mine in California.

Announced last week, the deal is valued at US$158 million and will make Equinox a producer. “The world has changed a hell of a lot for us in the last year,” said Milau.

Bill Beament of Australia’s Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) also took the stage Monday morning. In August, the company announced plans to acquire the Alaska-based Pogo gold mine from Sumitomo Metal Mining (TSE:5713) and Sumitomo (TSE:8053) for AU$347 million, and it recently raised AU$175 million in support of the deal.

The deal has not yet closed, but Beament told onlookers that the company is already involved at Pogo, with 16 Northern Star employees on site.

In the afternoon, Sibanye-Stillwater (NYSE:SBGL) shared details on an upcoming transaction as well. The company is in the process of acquiring platinum producer Lonmin (LSE:LMI) despite conditions placed on the deal last week by South Africa’s competition watchdog.

CEO Neal Froneman said that once the purchase closes Sibanye-Stillwater will be the world’s second-largest platinum producer and third-biggest palladium miner, as well as a significant producer of chrome.

Finally, late in the day, Great Panther Silver (TSX:GPR,NYSEAMERICAN:GPL) President and CEO James Bannantine outlined the company’s planned US$105-million acquisition of Beadell Resources (ASX:BDR).

Bannantine emphasized that the move will bring together Great Panther’s balance sheet and gold producer Beadell’s asset base. Once complete, Great Panther will have four operating mines across three jurisdictions in South America.

Denver Gold Forum, day 1: Other headlines

As the Barrick/Randgold announcement shows, events like the Denver Gold Forum are a great opportunity for companies to release news. Here’s a quick rundown of a few other headlines from day one of the show.

Check back tomorrow as we share updates from the second day of the Denver Gold Forum. And don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates.

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Great Panther Silver is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.



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