SD-GOLD Opening the Gate of World Gold Mountain – Joining Hands with Barrick
In the morning of April 6, the signing ceremony of strategic cooperation and joint development of Argentina Veladero gold mine by Shandong Gold Group ("SD-GOLD") and Barrick Gold Corporation ("Barrick"), the world's largest gold producer, was held in Jinan, Shandong Province.
Before the ceremony, Mr. Wang Shujian, Vice Governor of Shandong Province, met with the representatives of both parties attending the signing ceremony. Firstly, on behalf of the People's Government of Shandong Province, he offered his congratulations on the strategic cooperation between SD-GOLD and Barrick, extended his warm welcome to Mr. John Thornton and delegates attending the signing ceremony, and expressed his sincere gratitude for their care and support for the development of Shandong, especially for SD-GOLD for a long time. He said that the provincial government had always attached great importance to the cooperation between SD-GOLD and Barrick and had given strong support. Today, the strategic cooperative agreement concluded by the two parties and joint development of Argentina Veladero gold mine mean an important milestone in the upgrading of their cooperation. As the Veladero gold mine project has a large scale, high yield and good benefit, Barrick owns an experienced operation management team, and SD-GOLD boasts excellent underground mine operating capacity and advanced mining and smelting technology, their future cooperation and development have a very broad prospect. He hoped the two parties would take this cooperation as the new starting point, fully give their respective advantages, and seek pragmatic cooperation in a wider range and in more areas to realize win-win and common progress. He also hoped that Mr. John Thornton would continue to focus on Shandong in the coming days, give more valuable opinions and suggestions regarding the economic development of Shandong Province, so as to jointly help Shandong' economy to achieve better and faster development.
Mr. Zhang Xinwen, Director of Shandong Provincial Development and Reform Commission, Mr. She Chunming, Director-General of Provincial Department of Commerce, Mr. Zhang Bin, Director of Provincial State Asset Supervision and Administration Commission, Mr. Zhang Jigang, Executive Vice President of Provincial Friendship Association, Mr. Gong Zhiyuan, Deputy Inspector of Provincial General Office, Mr. Wang Xuchao, Deputy Inspector of State Asset Supervision and Administration Commission, and the leaders of relevant departments and experts attended the ceremony. Mr. John Thornton, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Barrick and Mr. Chen Yumin, Chairman of SD-GOLD signed the strategic cooperation on behalf of both parties. Mr. Li Guohong, General Manager of SD-GOLD and Chairman of Shandong Gold Mining Co., Ltd. (600547) and Mr. Li Yucan, President of Greater China Region of Barrick signed the cooperation development agreement. Mr. Chen Daojiang, Director of SD-GOLD presided over the signing ceremony.
Mr. Zhang Bin, Director of Provincial SASAC, on behalf of Shandong Provincial SASAC, extended warm congratulations on holding of this signing ceremony, gave his sincere welcome to the representatives of both parties and all sections of society attending the signing ceremony, and expressed his cordial gratitude to all friends for their care and support for reform and development of Shandong State-owned enterprises. He pointed out that SD-GOLD, as the provincial state-owned large enterprise and the leading enterprise in domestic gold industry, owned excellent large mine operation and management capacity, and had multiple advantages in gold production, smelting technology, deep exploration, safety and environmental protection and other aspects. Barrick ranked first in the top-10 gold producers in the world, and had decisive influence on the global industry. He hoped that the two parities, after signing the agreement, would further give full play their respective industrial advantages, fully promote the depth and width of the cooperation, enhance the level of strategic coordination, so as to achieve the new leap forward in the strategic development and become the model of powerful combination, mutual benefit and win-win outcome. Shandong Provincial SASAC would also be dedicated to providing optimal environment and best all-round services for the cooperation and development of both parties.
Mr. Thornton said that Barrick was committed to becoming the topnotch company in the region and industry in the 21st century. To achieve this goal, a unique, lasting and trust-based partnership with China and the best enterprises of China is required. Signing of this Agreement is an unprecedented and key step to this end. SD-GOLD is an ideal partner that will help Barrick develop the potential wealth of EL Indio gold mine from a long-term perspective and create more value in the Veladero gold mine. Mr. Thornton revealed that the two parties would share technology, talent and capital in exploiting and developing mine through cooperation, so as to create more value for the company owners of both sides and the partners in the levels of government and community.
Mr. Chen Yumin expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the leaders of Provincial Party Committee, Provincial Government and relevant departments for their care and support and to the distinguished guests and friends of the media for witnessing this important historic moment. He pointed out that SD-GOLD devoted itself to becoming an international and modern world-class mining group, focused on making the gold mining better and bigger, and endeavored to accelerate the strategic goal of "striving to become a world-class and breaking through to enter the world's top 10" all along. He believed that nothing would stop the ones who have a common aspiration. The strategic alliance between SD-GOLD and Barrick not only takes the substantive step in joint development of Argentina Veladero gold mine, but opens a new channel for SD-GOLD to enter the global mining and international capital market, which will create more development opportunities and brighter development perspectives for the two parties. In the course of future cooperation, SD-GOLD will strictly perform the cooperation agreement, invest technology, capital and talent without reservation to speed up the project construction and development process with full strength and continue to create more and greater value. He also hoped that in the near future SD-GOLD would begin cooperation with Barrick in more areas and at deeper and higher level, and work together side by side to jointly write a new chapter of cooperation and development.
It is reported that Barrick that was founded in 1983 is a transnational mining company mainly engaging in gold exploration and development. Its minable and pre-minable gold reserves in the world are up to 86.9 million ounces. The proved and controlled reserves of gold reach 75.2 ounces. It takes a leading position in the world in terms of gold geological, mining, processing and smelting technologies and the company stock has been listed and traded in Toronto and New York stock exchanges. Since the second half of 2016, Barrick has began "one-on-one" cooperation and negotiations with SD-GOLD on its affiliated Argentine Veladero gold mine, which lasted for more than eight months, and has completed the due diligence, technical exchange, expert argument and other work. Located in northwestern Argentina, Argentine Veladero gold mine is the largest gold mine in production in Argentina, and the second largest gold mine in production in South America. The mine was constructed in 2003, and put into production in September, 2005; it is located in the EL Indio gold mine belt, having a broad prospect of increasing reserve.
As the first step in cooperation of the two parties, SD-GOLD will invest US$960 million in purchasing 50% stock rights of Veladero gold mine located in Argentina of Barrick. With the second step, the two parties will establish a work group to discuss the joint development of Pascua-Lama mine in the EL Indio gold mine belt along the borders between Argentina and Chile and other promising projects. The mine belt contains the world-class gold deposits, including Veladero, Pascua-Lama and Alturas.
The agreement signing means that SD-GOLD has taken the substantive step in overseas development and taken a way to create an international company in a real sense, which will not only increase overseas resources, advanced technology and international talent reservation to lay a solid foundation to achieve the strategic goal of " striving to become a world-class and breaking through to enter the world's top 10", but also can enhance the global influence of SD-GOLD and even China's gold industry, and make more and greater contributions to the economical and social development of Shandong Province.