Barrick Gold and Randgold Resources announced the two will merge to create the biggest gold mining company in the world, which will have an aggregate value of $18.3 billion. Under the terms of the deal, Barrick will own approximately 66.6% of the New Barrick Group, while Randgold will own approximately 33.4%. The transaction is expected to close the first quarter of 2019.

The transaction will create an industry-leading gold company with the greatest concentration of tier-one gold assets in the industry, led by a proven management team of owners, the companies said.

Tier-one gold assets include the Cortez, Goldstrike, Kibali (45%), LouloGounkoto (80%) and Pueblo Viejo (60%) projects; and assets with the potential to become tier-one gold assets include Goldrush/Fourmile and Turquoise Ridge (75%).

“The combination of Barrick and Randgold will create a new champion for value creation in the gold mining industry, with a proven management team that has consistently delivered among the best shareholder returns in the gold sector over the past decade,” said John L. Thornton, executive chairman of Barrick. “Our overriding measure of success will be the returns we generate and not the number of ounces we produce, balancing boldness and prudence to deliver consistent and growing returns to our fellow owners, a truly simple but radical and achievable concept.”

CEO of Randgold Mark Bristow said the merged company will focus on delivering sector-leading returns. “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 talent to create real value for all stakeholders,” he added.

Thornton will become executive chairman of the New Barrick Group; Bristow will become president and CEO of the New Barrick Group; Graham Shuttleworth, finance director and CFO of Randgold, will become senior executive vice president and CFO of the New Barrick Group; and Kevin Thomson, senior executive vice president, strategic matters of Barrick, will become senior executive vice president, strategic matters of the New Barrick Group.

Two-thirds of the directors of the board of the New Barrick Group will be nominated by Barrick, and one-third will be nominated by Randgold.