Barrick, Newmont agree on JV

BARRICK Gold has withdrawn its hostile takeover bid for Newmont Mining in favour of a Nevada joint venture.
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Mark Bristow

Staff Reporters

It comes after Newmont formally rejected the bid last week and proposed a JV.
Newmont had proposed a 55:45 JV in favour of Barrick, but the two companies settled on a split of 61.5% Barrick and 38.5% Newmont, after the removal of Newmont's Cripple Creek and Victor mine in Colorado and based on analyst consensus.
Barrick said the deal would allow the two companies to capture an estimated $US500 million in average annual pre-tax synergies in the first five full years of the combination. Over 20 years, the JV is projected to total some $4.7 billion in pre-tax net present value.
Barrick CEO Mark Bristow said the agreement marked the successful culmination of a deal more than 20 years in the making.
"This is a Rubicon moment and the best illustration of how some of us in this industry are determined to turn our industry around.
"Our joint venture will allow us to tear down the fences and operate our assets as one mining complex making the best use of our combined  infrastructure and running the most profitable and sustainable long-term gold mining business in Nevada.
"It also puts us in a position to invest more capital in our collective mines and projects, complete more focused exploration with an unconstrained district-wide approach and ultimately, ensure that the full potential of Nevada's unequalled mineral endowment can be realised for all stakeholders."
The deal includes Barrick's Goldstrike, Cortez, Turquoise Ridge, Goldrush and South Arturo and Newmont's Carlin, Twin Creeks, Phoenix, Long Canyon and Lone Tree operations with associated processing facilities and other infrastructure. 
It does not include development assets such as Fourmile, Mike and Fiberline although they may be at a later date if investment hurdles are met. These can either be sold into the JV or the JV shareholders will be diluted as new assets enter.
The JV will include a large exploration land package. Both Barrick and Newmont will receive a 1.5% net smelter returns royalty from any production that results from mineral resources and reserves discovered beyond the reserves and resources initially vended into the JV.
Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg described the JV as a "historic agreement".
"This agreement also paves the way for both Newmont and Barrick to unlock more value than either of us could create alone," he said.
Following the completion of the JV, the Nevada complex will be the world's single-largest gold producer, with a pro-forma output of more than 4 million ounces in 2018, comprising three tier one assets, with another in the making, and 48Moz of reserves and 28Moz of resources.
"And, by the way, it will be the third largest gold company after Newmont and Barrick," Bristow added.
The JV represents a peace treaty, with the war of words between Barrick and Newmont getting ugly at times.
Goldberg had called Barrick's hostile nil-premium bid "egocentric", while Bristow had called Newmont's planned acquisition of Goldcorp "desperate and bizarre".
With the takeover bid dropped, Newmont plans to proceed as planned with its merger with Goldcorp.
Canaccord Genuity analysts said the JV was the best outcome for Barrick, Newmont and Goldcorp shareholders.
"Barrick shareholders can capture the majority of the proposed Barrick/Newmont synergies without a full-blown acquisition of Newmont (which we think would likely have required a higher bid to succeed)," they said.
"Newmont shareholders capture the benefits from the Nevada JV in addition to the benefits expected from the Goldcorp acquisition (accretive and additional synergies)."