Lumwana mine gets new owner

Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX), the world’s biggest gold company, agreed to buy Equinox Minerals Ltd. (EQN) for C$7.3 billion ($7.68 billion) in cash, trumping an offer by Minmetals Resources Ltd. (1208)

Barrick bid C$8.15 per Equinox share, the Toronto-based mining company said today in a statement. A previous offer from China’s Minmetals was for C$7 a share. Perth-based Equinox has agreed to the Barrick offer and will drop its bid for Lundin Mining Corp., a Canadian copper and zinc producer.

Equinox would give Barrick control of the Lumwana mine in Zambia and Saudi Arabia’s biggest copper deposit. Miners are competing to secure assets after a dearth of new projects and demand from China drove copper prices to a record this year.

Equinox fell 1 cent to C$7.51 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on April 21.

Minmetals is a unit of China’s largest metals trader.

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