LONDON (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp, which is being formed by Barrick’s (ABX.TO) $6.1 billion takeover of Randgold Resources RRS.L, is in talks with Newmont Mining (NEM.N) to combine their Nevada gold mining operations, sources told Reuters.
Last month’s tie-up between Barrick and Africa-focused Randgold Resources revived speculation about a joint venture between Newmont and Barrick in Nevada, something the two mining firms had explored in 2014 without reaching a deal.
“They have been trying to negotiate for years but Newmont couldn’t agree with Barrick, now that you have a new management team, it’s certain they revived those talks,” one source said.
Newmont produced 1.8 million ounces of gold in Nevada in 2017 and has processing capacity which would benefit Barrick Nevada, which produced 2.3 million ounces or 43 percent of its owner’s 2017 output in 2017.
This included a joint venture at Turquoise Ridge mine, which is 25 percent owned by Newmont and annual savings from a combination of Newmont and Barrick’s Nevada assets could reach up to $300 million, according to analysts estimates. “They are looking to turn Nevada into a free cash flow machine and this is the easiest way to do it,” one source said.
Barrick, Randgold and Newmont declined to comment.
Both Randgold and Barrick are focused on closing the deal after shareholder votes this week and will begin consolidating the combined business, including the sale of assets.
Barrick is likely to hold on to its copper mines after the Randgold takeover, even as it embarks on disposing of non-core assets, one of the sources added, betting on the metal used in construction, renewable energy and electric vehicles.
In October, Barrick’s Executive Chairman John Thornton said the miner was in “slow-motion, long-term conversations” with partners in Saudi Arabia and China interested in its copper assets, which collectively produced 413,000 tonnes and about 7 percent of revenue in 2017.
Additional reporting by Susan Taylor in Toronto; Editing by Veronica Brown and Alexander Smith