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Barrick Gold and Shandong Gold strengthen ties

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Global Mining Review,

Reuters is reporting that Barrick Gold Corp and Shandong Gold have announced that they are to looking to cooperate in areas beyond their Veladero gold mine joint venture (JV), potentially working together on acquisitions.

Last year Barrick Gold signed a deal to sell Shandong a 50% stake in the Veladero mine in Argentina; the development is one of Barrick’s top five gold mines.

In a joint statement released today the two companies said: “The parties have agreed to consider opportunities to work together on acquisition opportunities or potential asset sales, if both parties agree it is in their collective best interests.”

The statement also said that Barrick and Shandong would share expertise in areas such as mining technology and information management, and give each other access to their respective supplier networks, service providers, investors and capital providers.

Prior to the announcement, Shandong had also been assessing whether to join Barrick in a potential partnership at its Pascua-Lama operations, on the border between Argentina and Chile.

Barrick put that gold and silver project on hold in 2013 as a result of environmental issues, political opposition, labour unrest and development costs that had risen to US$8.5 billion.

The move sustains a recent trend in JVs forming between Western and Chinese mining firms. Last month, China’s Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining bought the Laos copper and gold operations of MMG, the Australian arm of China’s MinMetals, for US$275 million, while Rio Tinto signed a JV agreement with China Minmetals Corp.

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