The gold industry still has a mismatch of assets in too many managers’ hands and is in need of further consolidation, says gold major Barrick CEO Mark Bristow.
Speaking at the virtual Gold Forum Americas conference, he said that the industry had come a long way in 18 months, but that the job was not yet finished.
“The industry could be better served if we could reallocate some of the assets into the right place, with managements that have proven track records to deliver value,” Bristow said.
“Wherever we can, we will encourage and where we see opportunities to add to our tier-one portfolio, we will be right there in the front of the queue.”
The 2018 merger of Barrick and Randgold Resources – the company that Bristow found – ignited an industry shake-up. Several company and industry deals followed, including the Newmont-Goldcorp deal, Barrick and Newmont’s Nevada joint venture, Barrick taking Acacia Mining private and the major’s sale of Massawa, in Senegal, to Teranga Gold.
In West Africa, Canada-based Endeavour Mining has started to consolidate, which Bristow said was pleasing to see. “It is nice to see somebody working hard to take Randgold Resources' place.”
On activity in North America, he said that it was “fantastic” to see the Australian miners come into Canada. “They really do know how to mine.”
Bristow urged the investment community to support the industry to continue consolidation. When ideas to rearrange the industry were first mooted, many investors were loath to support initiatives.