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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Barrick Gold Corp. has completed its $12.1-billion purchase of Placer Dome Inc. to become the world's largest gold producer. All remaining shares of Placer have been acquired, most recently by "compulsory acquisition," Barrick said yesterday in a statement. Barrick took control of Placer in January after buying 81 per cent of the shares outstanding. Barrick and Placer had gold production of 9.1 million ounces last year, exceeding 6.4 million from Newmont Mining Corp., now the No. 2 producer. Mining companies have been acquiring rivals as gold prices rose to a 25-year high last month and output has declined in South Africa and the U.S. Of the stock recently bought, some Placer investors got $15.69 (U.S.) a share in cash and 0.2505 of a Barrick share, Barrick said. Others received 0.8269 of a Barrick share and 5 cents a share in cash. ABX (TSX) rose 13 cents (Canadian) to $30.73. Bloomberg

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