TORONTO - Barrick Gold Crop. has enriched its offer to shareholders of Randgold Resources Ltd. ahead of a vote on a proposed merger.

Toronto-based Barrick says Randgold shareholders will receive US$2.69 per share, up from the original proposal of US$2 per share.

The company says the increased offer would match what Randgold shareholders would expect to receive as dividend payments without the merger.

The boost sweetens a deal that was proposed as a no-premium takeover by Barrick chief executive John Thornton, in a divergence from the norm of the mining industry.

Shareholders of Barrick itself will also see their fourth-quarter dividend boosted to seven cents, up from the originally agreed five cents.

Barrick shareholders are set to vote Monday on the merger, while Randgold has pushed back its vote by two days in light of the late change to the offer.