Toronto — Barrick Gold Corporation may have withdrawn its pursuit of rival Newmont Mining Corporation, but the hostile-takeover bid did yield a big prize: control over the largest single gold mining operation in the world. On Monday, Barrick abandoned its $17.8bn bid for Newmont, with the two largest gold companies instead announcing a joint venture around their Nevada assets, with Barrick holding sway more than 61.5% of the operation. Barrick CEO Mark Bristow declined to say if control of the venture was his end game all along, but stressed that the final deal offers less “gristle” for investors to chew on than a full merger. “It’s not an easy thing to do, to get past all the different opinions,” he said in a telephone interview. “It’s a fantastic outcome.” Bristow said that while a full-on merger could be possible some time in the future, for at least the next two years it would have to be friendly, as each company agreed not to make any unsolicited bids for the other during that ...

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