The world's largest gold mining company Barrick Gold has moved into copper mining at a large scale. The company expects to produce nearly 300 million pounds of copper in the current year along with 7.8 million ounces of gold. With its acquisition of Equinox Minerals the copper figure may quadruple.
The move may give Barrick Gold good scope for further growth but it is not sitting easy with shareholders of the company. Peter Munk, the chairman of Barrick Gold said that in gold it was difficult to find any acquisitions that could be immediately accretive to earnings.
He looks to the copper industry as a likely asset that will return more profits than gold. A point of view clearly not shared by the share holders of the company. As well as potential shareholders as the shares of the company have dropped by 9% since the takeover deal for Equinox Minerals was announced on Monday.
To add to its problems there was a high energy protest again the company as it held its annual share holder meeting on Wednesday. The protestors were more than 100 in number and were ruing Barrick Gold's continuing disregard for human rights, indigenous sovereignty and the environment.
However 83 year old Mr Munk, who has been through business related to stereos, hotel and restaurants, and oil and gas before he stuck with gold, feels that the Toronto based company is on the right track to growth.