Barrick keen on Guyana Shield, Canada for exploration: executive

FILE PHOTO: Barrick Gold Executive Chairman John Thornton attends the company's annual shareholders meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada April 25, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo/File Photo

TORONTO (Reuters) - Barrick Gold is interested in early-stage exploration in South America’s Guyana Shield and wants “more exposure” in Canada, Executive Vice President of Exploration Rob Krcmarov said in an investor presentation Friday.

“We’d also look to copper opportunities that are within our operating regions, but only if they meet our investment criteria,” he said via webcast from the London event.

Barrick has a 15-percent stake in Reunion Gold, an exploration company active in the Guyana Shield, which crosses Suriname, Guyana and French Guyana.

Barrick will require a 15 percent rate of return, based on a $1,000 gold price, to approve projects with more than 5 million ounces of gold, said head of projects and evaluation Rod Quick. For projects with more than 3 million ounces of gold it will need a 20 percent return, he said in advance of the $6.1 billion merger with Randgold Resources expected to close Jan 1.

(This story corrects Guyana Shield location to South America from Africa in first paragraph.)

Reporting by Susan Taylor; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama