ELKO – Barrick Gold Corp. hosted a community stakeholder reception Thursday evening in Elko, with CEO Mark Bristow and other company executives on hand to provide updates on the status of the joint venture between Barrick and Newmont Goldcorp Corp.
Bristow said the venture was a classic case of the whole being more valuable than the sum of its parts.
“Nevada Gold Mines will have three Tier One gold mines: Barrick’s Cortez; the combination of Barrick’s Goldstrike and Newmont Goldcorp’s Carlin; and Barrick’s Turquoise Ridge with Newmont Goldcorp’s Twin Creeks. In addition, our Goldrush-Fourmile project has the potential to become the fourth,” he said. “It will be one of the world’s greatest gold mining operations and will create sustainable, long-term value for all its stakeholders, not least the State and people of Nevada.”
The company displayed a new logo for the operation, which will be called Nevada Gold Mines.
Bristow announced that Greg Walker, currently head of operations for Barrick’s North American region, had been appointed as executive managing director. He said Walker will head a team representing a balanced combination of Barrick and Newmont Goldcorp executives with dynamic, energetic talent moving up into leadership positions.
One area they will be focusing on is supply logistics.
“The importance of very effective supply chains is key for us,” Bristow said. “We’ve looked at rails, warehousing.”
Nevada Gold Mines offices will be in the current Newmont building on Mountain City Highway, with Barrick staff moved out of the Barrick building down the road.
Bristow said the joint venture will continue to employ all miners in their current positions until Jan. 1.
“We need time to set up the payroll,” he said. “We want people who are very committed to the community and come out for the long term.”
That philosophy applies to any charitable giving programs that are set up under the joint venture.
“One of the things that I’ve always believed is that our community commitments are part of an investment into the community. They should make a difference,” Bristow said. “And we’ve got our own commitments, and Newmont has as well, and we’re going to be combining that and making sure that it goes further and reaches to more parts of the community. We’re definitely not planning to cut back on our commitment to the community.”
Bristow said a congressional bill announced Thursday would have a devastating effect on the joint venture if it becomes law.
The Hardrock Leasing and Reclamation Act of 2019, sponsored by Rep. Raul Grijalva , D-Ariz., and Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., would impose a 12.5 percent royalty on new hardrock mines.
“That will screw up this deal,” Bristow told the Elko Daily. “That will take away everything we want to unlock.”
“Our job as businessmen should be making profits,” he added. “Legislators should understand that. That was how this country was built – hardworking people delivering and paying their taxes.”
A 12.5 royalty on gold would be the highest in the world, he said.
Work on putting together the joint venture will continue through the coming weeks.
Nevada Gold Mines will be owned 61.5 percent by Barrick and 38.5 percent by Newmont Goldcorp. The operations making up the joint venture produced in excess of 4 million ounces of gold in 2018, which is more than double the next largest gold mining complex.
Bristow also visited Elko in March to announce the joint venture.