The president and chief executive officer of Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM.N) said his company’s new joint venture with Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) in Nevada paves the way for future opportunities between the two gold miners.

“It opens up opportunities where [we could] we have another joint venture with them,” said Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg in an interview with BNN Bloomberg.  

Goldberg pointed to existing joint ventures like the Norte Abierto project in Chile, which Goldcorp Inc. and Barrick share an interest in, and the Kalgoorlie mine in Australia, which is a 50-50 joint venture between Newmont and Barrick.

“I think those sorts of partnerships make a lot of sense, where you team up and work together,” Goldberg said. “That’s a good model and one that we want to take forward.”  

Goldberg added that once Newmont successfully closes its deal with Goldcorp, he and Barrick CEO Mark Bristow will meet in the Dominican Republic at the Pueblo Viejo mine, which is a joint venture between Barrick and Goldcorp.  

Barrick and Newmont announced their Nevada pact on Monday, one week after Newmont’s board of directors rejected Barrick’s US$17.8-billion unsolicited takeover bid, saying its deal with Goldcorp represents superior value. The same day, Newmont proposed a joint venture with Barrick in Nevada, where both companies hold assets.

Under the agreement, Barrick will own 61.5 per cent of the Nevada joint venture and will withdraw its offer to buy Newmont.

“We listened to our shareholders and agreed with them that this was the best way to realize the enormous potential of the Nevada goldfields’ unequalled mineral endowment, and to maximize the returns from our operations there,” Bristow said in a release.

“We are finally taking down the fences to operate Nevada as a single entity in order to deliver full value to both sets of shareholders, as well as to all our stakeholders in the state, by securing the long-term future of gold mining in Nevada.”

In a separate release Monday, Goldcorp said it “fully supports” Newmont’s joint venture with Barrick.

The joint venture will include Barrick's Goldstrike, Cortez, Turquoise Ridge, Goldrush mines and other assets, as well as Newmont's Carlin, Twin Creeks, Phoenix, Long Canyon, and Lone Tree mines.

The companies said the joint venture will allow them to capture an estimated US$500 million in average annual pre-tax synergies in the first five full years of the combination.

Over a 20-year period, they estimate US$4.7 billion of total savings with US$2.8 billion attributable to Barrick and US$1.8 billion attributable to Newmont.

The ambitions of the cost savings have, however, been questioned.

"This is above our more conservative published estimate," said RBC Dominion Securities analyst Stephen Walker in a note.

RBC has estimated annual savings of US$340 million pre-tax, or US$250 million after tax, which it figures is currently worth about US$2.6 billion over 20 years.

The joint venture is subject to conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed in the coming months.

With files from The Canadian Press