Ask Peter Munk, the founder and former chairman of Barrick Gold Corp., whom he most admires in the mining industry, and you get a passionate, digressive response, along with a possible clue to the direction of the world’s largest gold producer.
John Thornton’s start tomorrow as chairman of Barrick Gold Corp., succeeding founder Peter Munk at the largest gold producer, is being overshadowed by the acrimonious failure of merger talks with its biggest rival and opposition to executive compensation plans.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., the largest publicly traded copper producer, reported first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates after improved results in the energy business offset lower copper sales from Indonesia.
Alcoa Inc. , the largest U.S. aluminum producer, may post a 29 percent drop in third-quarter profit after a weaker dollar raised costs in Europe, Australia and Brazil, offsetting an increase in the price of the metal.
Capital spending by the largest gold producers is increasing at a faster pace than earnings for a second straight year as the industry’s biggest mining projects are beset by delays and surging labor costs.
The 10 biggest gold companies led by Barrick Gold Corp. spent more than $100 billion in the past 20 years buying new mines and projects around the globe. Now they’re feeling pressure to throw the strategy into reverse.