Elko mayor opposes Barrick-Newmont mining merger

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ELKO, Nev. (AP) - The mayor of the biggest mining community in Nevada opposes the merger of the two largest gold mining companies in the world because he says would reduce competition in the region and could drive down workers' wages.

Barrick Gold announced this week it will try to acquire Newmont Mining in an approximately $18 billion all-stock deal that would create a corporate giant worth about $42 billion.

Elko Mayor Reece Keener told the Elko Daily Free Press that "operationally" the merger may make financial sense.

But from a practical standpoint, Elko County reaps the benefits of having two major mining companies operating in northeast Nevada.

He says a "single mining behemoth" would remove much of the competition for talent, potentially put downward pressure on wages and squeeze the industry's suppliers.

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