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Shanghai-listed Shandong Gold Mining has sealed a $960m deal for a 50 per cent stake in Barrick Gold’s Valedero gold mine in Argentina.

Barrick also said in a statement that the two companies would form a working group to explore the Pascua-Lama deposit in Argentina.

Reuters reported earlier that a deal between Shandong Gold and New York-listed Barrick was near completion, and that previous discussions between Barrick and another Chinese company, Zijin Mining Group, had fallen apart.

The deal adds to the list of mining-related transactions leading China’s outbound investment drive this year. Industry insiders have noted that mining and material acquisitions have been deemed safer bets during a time when China’s regulators are scrutinising cross-border transactions.

The largest Chinese buyouts in 2017 have been in the materials industry. In the first three months of the year, Wang Tai Holdings purchased two iron mine interests in Mongolia for a combined $5.5bn, including debt. Yan Kuang Group bought a coal mine from Rio Tinto for about $2.5bn.

Citi was the sole advisor for Shandong Gold. Barrick was advised by CIBC World Markets.

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