Newmont’s earnings in 2018; emphasising profit over production growth, Goldberg has a reputation for delivering predictable dividends
Having bought Goldcorp for $10bn this year, Newmont is due to produce 6 to 7m ounces in 2019, vs 5.6m for Barrick and 2.8m for Kinross
Newmont's CEO Gary Goldberg sat down for dinner at the Four Seasons hotel in New York earlier this year. Opposite was Mark Bristow, Barrick Gold's free-wheeling chief executive, known for red wine and triple espresso.
Despite being smaller in size, Bristow was on a run of deals and was very publicly pushing for a $42bn takeover of Newmont. “These companies pay these guys a lot of money,” VanEck fund manager Joe Foster told Reuters. “They need to find a place in the middle.”
By the end of the evening, Goldberg had folded Newmont's largest operations into Barrick's neighbouring mines in Nevada, handing Barrick control.
The dinner defused the mayhem of the largest hostile bid that gold has ever seen. Goldberg flew to Toronto and was soon signing a joint-venture agreement, before returning to his own transaction, buying Canada's Goldcorp for $10bn, ushering investors into the deal with a $470m special dividend, closing the door on its Vancouver headquarters, and consolidating Newmont's position as the biggest mining company in gold.
Like Newmont, Goldberg has spent decades building a reputation as one of the industry's steadiest operators. Growing up
in the US, his family owned a small gold mining stake in Colorado, which they worked on summer vacations. With an MBA from Utah, Goldberg joined Rio Tinto in copper and coal, managing its borates mine in California, now known as one of the industry's safest operations.
Systematic, level-headed and error-free, by the time he became Newmont's CEO in 2013, Goldberg was seen as an airline pilot of the industry. Even when he is talking to investors in hotels in London or Toronto, Goldberg begins most meetings with a map of the fire escapes.
From skiing at Davos to flying around the world discussing strategy, his position is “as energising as it is intense”, Goldberg tells Global Mining Observer. Newmont has met its goal of becoming “the world’s leading gold business and we'll maintain that position.”
Alongside the CEOs of Rio Tinto and Anglo American, Goldberg, 59, was one of a small group of mining executives who flew to the Vatican for meetings with the Pope in 2015. The prospect of a takeover by Barrick has been deferred for now. But when Goldberg leaves, rivals will push to reopen the question. Due to retire at the end of 2019, he has been tipped to lead Rio's great rival, BHP.
NEWS & INTERVIEWS
» Newmont Fends Off Barrick, But Only for Two Years (Bloomberg)
» Newmont Looks to Regain Crown as World’s Largest Gold Producer (Denver Post)