The CEO of Barrick Gold says that mergers won’t help with the copper shortage


The CEO of Barrick Gold has said that mergers and acquisitions would not alleviate the copper scarcity and has instead advocated for the pursuit of new mine development.

Mergers and acquisitions, according to CEO Mark Bristow, won’t solve the copper scarcity that’s coming soon. Mining firms should prioritize the discovery and development of new copper discoveries instead of seeking consolidation, according to Bristow, in light of BHP’s planned $39 billion acquisition of Anglo American.

The output profile won’t improve as a result of consolidation. In an interview with the Financial Times, Bristow made the observation that consolidation typically results in reduced output. This statement highlights his position about the limits of mergers and acquisitions in resolving the copper supply crisis.

Experts in the field are recommending massive expansions in copper production capacity in anticipation of a rise in demand for the metal from the energy transition and the proliferation of electric vehicles (EVs).

The official bid for Anglo American by BHP is due on May 22. If accepted, the two businesses would merge to become one of the world’s leading copper mining conglomerates. Many corporations find it tough to pursue the acquisition because of its complexity and Anglo’s considerable holdings in platinum and iron ore in South Africa.

The autonomous growth of Barrick’s copper holdings is the strategy’s fulcrum. The company’s primary emphasis is on its 50% interest in the Reko Diq project in Pakistan, a prospective copper-gold mine of world-class potential.

Barrick has been courting investors including the International Finance Corporation in an effort to cover the anticipated $5.5 billion cost of the first phase.

A game-changing initiative might emerge from Reko Diq. Given its expected longevity of more than four decades, it has the potential to have a significant impact on Pakistan’s economy, especially in the economically depressed Balochistan region. There will be a large increase in employment opportunities as a result of this project, with 7,500 construction jobs and an additional 4,000 permanent posts emerging once the facility is operational.

Although it might be challenging to locate competent workers in the mining sector, Barrick is much ahead of the game with this strategy. On the grounds of the defunct Buywagi mine in Tanzania, the newly established Barrick Academy will educate over two thousand supervisors, foremen, and superintendents hailing from the MENA area.

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