“The industry would be better served if we could reallocate some of the assets into the right place with managements that have proven records to deliver value,” Bristow said.

As well as being chief executive of the world’s second biggest gold producer Bristow has been one of the most active gold-asset consolidators, though his last major deal was two years ago when he merged Randgold Resources with Barrick.

$1.5 billion In Cost Savings

The nil-premium merger of Northern Star with Saracen is expected to generate up to $1.5 billion in cost-saving synergies with combined annual gold output of 1.6 million ounces from mines in Australia as well as the Pogo mine in Alaska.

Once complete, existing Northern Star shareholders will own 64% of the combined business with its executive chairman, Bill Beament, becoming non-executive chairman while Sarcen’s chief executive, Raleigh Finlayson, will be appointed managing director.

Current output of 1.6 million ounces of gold a year is expected to rise to 2m/oz over the next few years. Gold reserves in the ground total19m/oz with 49m/oz in the resource category.

In terms of global ranking the combined business will rank as the world’s 9th biggest gold producer by annual ounces, and 6th by stock-market value.

It will be the first time in 125 years that the once broadly-owned Golden Mile has been in the hands of a single owner.

On the Australian stock market today Northern Star added A$1.47 (10.6%) to close at A$15.29. Saracen rose by A50 cents (9.6%) to A$5.72.

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