Barrick Gold and Randgold join to form a mega-miner

“THE gold sector is like a charade,” Mark Bristow proclaimed in 2016, deriding miners for having too much debt and too little discipline. Mr Bristow is nonetheless poised to become the industry’s most powerful man. On September 24th Barrick Gold, a giant miner, said it would pay $6bn for Randgold Resources, the firm Mr Bristow founded. If shareholders approve the deal, it would be the world’s biggest gold-mining company. Mr Bristow’s task, as chief executive of the combined entity, is to restore its gleam.

The industry as a whole is looking a bit grubby. As gold prices rose in the 2000s, many firms went on a spree, snapping up mediocre mines. When prices fell, they were left with debt and inferior projects. This year share prices for big miners have been stuck in the dirt even as the broader stockmarket has soared (see chart).

Barrick has struggled, too. Founded in Canada in 1983, it took on more debt as it mined for gold on five continents. John Thornton, its...



via Business Feeds

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