Florida, US — Long-time rivals Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining renewed their animosity on Monday, with their CEOs trading insults after Barrick launched an $18bn hostile bid for the US company, presaging an aggressive battle. The tough talk underscored deep personality and cultural differences between the world's two biggest gold producers. Their past attempts to merge ended in acrimony in 2014, and the frictions could scuttle a deal this time too. Newmont's financial returns in recent years show its CEO, Gary Goldberg, is a "loser," Barrick CEO Mark Bristow said. Goldberg, for his part, said Bristow's "credibility and experience" and performance at Randgold, which he led until January when it was acquired by Barrick, was "anaemic". Adding to the residue of resentment at the mining companies from past merger failures, the current hostile climate between the companies reflects animosity between the CEOs, opposing management styles and clashing visions for how to achieve maximum share...

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