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Telfer Doesn’t Expect Goldcorp to Be Chinese Takeover Target

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Goldcorp Inc. Chairman Ian Telfer doesn’t expect the Canadian company, the world’s second-biggest producer of the metal by market value, to become an acquisition target for companies in China or elsewhere in Asia.

“The Chinese up to now have been most interested in commodities that get consumed in the development of their economy,” Telfer said yesterday at the Bloomberg Canada-Asia Conference in Vancouver. “Gold is mined, it gets fabricated, but it is never actually consumed.”

Barrick Gold Corp., the biggest producer of the metal, said Aug. 16 that China National Gold Group Corp. is in talks about acquiring its 74 percent stake in African Barrick Gold Plc. Toronto-based Barrick’s African arm trades in London and is valued at 1.84 billion pounds ($2.93 billion) based on yesterday’s closing price.

Telfer said he expects Asian buyers of natural resources to be more interested in Canada’s petroleum assets rather than its metal reserves.

“The number of large ore deposits in Canada is quite small,” he said. “Whereas the potential for oil and gas is quite large.”

While gold futures have risen 8.9 percent in New York this year, Goldcorp, which is based in Vancouver, has dropped 9.3 percent. Gold-mining companies have been outpaced by the price of the precious metal as they contend with rising production costs and investors increasingly buy physical bullion and gold-backed exchange-traded funds.

Telfer, 66, said he expects China’s economy to grow “as far as the eye can see.”

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