Canada’s B2Gold CEO, Clive Johnson said the company is interested in any West African assets that Barrick Gold may put up for sale after its acquisition of Randgold Resources. In an interview, Johnson said B2Gold, whose stock rose 3 percent following better than expected quarterly production results, is keen on projects considered noncore under the new Barrick.
Barrick Gold said that under its $6.1 billion all stock deal to buy Randgold, the companies have agreed to focus on their biggest and best assets globally and consider selling others. Johnson said “if there are new opportunities in West Africa that don’t perhaps fit the new Barrick model, in terms of the size of the project or other things, then we’d be keen to look”.
Johnson revealed that ideally, Vancouver-based B2Gold would prefer projects it can develop to produce about 200,000oz of gold annually for at least 10 years, as opposed to already built mines. The company also seeks investments with a 20 percent rate of return at gold prices of $1200 to $1250/oz.
Randgold has mines and projects in Mali, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal, while Barrick has mines in Tanzania and Zambia.
According to Johnson, after being on the sidelines since its $570 million stock purchase of Australia’s Papillon Resources since late 2014, B2Gold is open to making acquisitions. The deal landed B2Gold a large, low-cost mine in Mali, which helped the company forecast total output at the high end of a 920,000 to 960,000oz range. At the end of 2017, there were reserves of about 2.92 million ounces of gold at the mine.
B2Gold has five operating mines, two development projects and exploration situated in Mali, Burkina Faso, Namibia, Nicaragua, Colombia and the Philippines.