The emblematic boss of Canada’s Barrick Gold, the world’s second largest gold producer, South Africa’s Mark Bristow denied on Thursday 6 February that he wanted to merge the group he heads with the American company Freeport-McMoran, which is active in the copper sector. Quoted by the news agency Reuters, on the sidelines of the annual conference of Indaba Mining in Cape Town (South Africa), the leader described the current rumours of a merger between Barrick Gold and Freeport-McMoran as « completely false ». However, he confirmed his interest in Freeport’s Grasberg mine in Indonesia, the world’s largest gold mine and second largest copper mine. « People say, ‘Are you interested in Grasberg? I can only be, because it’s a great asset, » he said, reinforcing his earlier statements about the opportunity to expand Barrick’s copper business to take advantage of the expected increase in demand that will result from the growing popularity of electric vehicles.