Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Barrick Gold said Monday it's buying Randgold Resources for $6 billion, a merger that will create the world's largest gold mining company.
The combined company will be worth $18 billion and own five of the world's top 10 Tier One gold mining assets.
Barrick shareholders will own nearly 67 percent of the combined company, which is intended to combine Randgold's mines in Africa with Barrick's holdings in the Western Hemisphere. Randgold shareholders will receive 6.1 new Barrick shares for every Randgold share.
The deal indicates a return to Africa for Toronto-based Barrick, which sold off its African holdings eight years ago. Randgold, headquartered in Britain's Channel Islands, has significant gold mines in Africa, particularly Mali.
"The Boards of Barrick Gold Corporation and Randgold Resources Limited are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended share-for-share merger of Barrick and Randgold to create an industry-leading gold company." a Barrick statement said Monday.
The merger comes as gold prices, worldwide, are declining. The price fell below $1,200 per ounce last month for the first time since January 2017, part of a 9 percent decline in 2018.
Gold production by both companies has declined in recent years, and the acquisition of Randgold is expected to make up for Barrick's 25 percent decline in gold production since 2013.
The sale must be approved by shareholders and regulators.
Monday's news drove stock prices up for both companies -- Randgold's up 5.6 percent and Barrick's 4.3 percent.