Trading in the shares of the new company created by the merger of Barrick Gold and Randgold Resources started at the opening of business on the New York and Toronto Stock exchanges on Wednesday, January 2. The ringing of the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was performed by the company’s executive chairman, John Thornton, accompanied by President and CEO Mark Bristow.

The new company is still known as Barrick, but its trading symbol on the NYSE will change to GOLD, the ticker formerly held by Randgold on NASDAQ. On the TSX, the ticker remains ABX.

The merger created a sector-leading gold company, which owns five of the industry’s top 10 tier-one gold assets: Cortez and Goldstrike in Nevada, USA (100%); Kibali in DRC (45%); Loulo-Gounkoto in Mali (80%); and Pueblo Viejo in Dominican Republic (60%), and two with the potential to become tier-one gold assets (Goldrush/Fourmile (100%) and Turquoise Ridge (75%), both in the USA. Barrick has the lowest total cash cost position among its senior gold peers, and a diversified asset portfolio positioned for growth in many of the world’s most prolific gold districts, the company said.

Following the closing of the merger, Barrick’s board of directors was reconstituted with the following nine directors: John Thornton (executive chairman), Mark Bristow, María Ignacia Benítez, Gustavo Cisneros, Christopher Coleman, Michael Evans, Brian Greenspun, Brett Harvey (lead independent director), and Andrew Quinn.

At the opening of markets on Wednesday, Barrick had a market capitalization in excess of $23.75 billion, with the largest reserves base among its senior gold peers.

In a joint letter to stakeholders, Thornton and Bristow said that with the best asset base and the strongest management team in the sector, Barrick was well placed to be the world’s most valued gold mining business.

“We will do so by optimizing our existing operations, pursuing new opportunities that meet strict investment criteria, and developing them with disciplined efficiency,” they said. “In all that we do we will be guided by a long-term strategy and clear implementation plans designed to deliver sustainable returns to our owners, and real benefits to our partners, host countries, and communities.”