Randgold Resources reported a 20 per cent increase in profit in the third quarter, ahead of a shareholder vote on its pending $6bn acquisition by Canada’s Barrick Gold.

Randgold said profit rose to $73.2m in the quarter from $60.2m a year earlier as gold production held steady at 308,628 ounces and costs fell.

Randgold shareholders are set to vote on Wednesday on the acquisition by Barrick Gold, which was announced in September. Mark Bristow, chief executive of Randgold, will become CEO of the combined group, which will become the largest listed global gold producer with a market capitalisation of $18bn.

A majority of Barrick’s shareholders approved the deal on Monday.

Mr Bristow said the merged company will follow a similar strategy to the one he has employed at Randgold and focus on shareholder returns and costs.

“In order to achieve this, we’ll need to take a very critical look at our asset base and how we run the business, and be prepared to make tough decisions,” he said. “By employing a strategy similar to the one that proved very successful at Randgold, but on a larger scale, the new Barrick group will leverage some of the world’s best mines and talents to create real value for shareholders.”

Randgold said its total cash costs for the third quarter fell 18 per cent from the previous quarter to $181.6m. Production from its Kibali mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo hit a record 224,549 ounce, up 11 per cent from the previous quarter.

Randgold said operations at its Tongon mine in Côte d’Ivoire had returned to normal following a strike, and the mine is set to achieve its production target of 230,000 ounces for this year.

“Randgold’s proposed merger with Barrick will bring what will be the world’s largest gold mining company to Côte d’Ivoire, which augurs well for the country and the industry,” Mr Bristow said.

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