When fully developed, the Super Pit will be 3.6 km long, 1.6 km wide and as deep as 650 metres. (Image: Newmont Mining)
AUSTRALIA – Talks between Barrick Gold of Toronto and China’s Shandong Tyan about a 50% interest in the Kalgoorlie gold mine, known as the Super Pit, have broken down both sides say. The mine, located 700 km northeast of Perth, is a joint venture of Barrick and operator Newmont Mining Corp. of Denver, Colo.
Shandong had offered to purchased Barrick’s half of the project for US$1.3 billion, but the Chinese company ran into trouble financing it. China’s limits on capital outflow and Australia’s greater scrutiny of overseas acquisitions have been blamed. The offer was made through a subsidiary of Shandong, Minjar Gold.
For its part, Barrick has said that it would be happy to continue holding its interest in the Kalgoorlie mine. The project produced slightly more than 750,000 oz. of gold last year.
That has not stopped speculation that Barrick may continue looking for a buyer. One name that comes up frequently is Newmont. If the American company were the sole owner of the Super Pit, Newmont will leapfrog ahead of Barrick and become the world’s largest gold producer by output. In 2016 Barrick produced 5.52 million oz. of gold and Newmont’s output was 4.90 million oz. Kalgoorlie reserves contain an estimated 8.28 million oz. of gold.
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