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Mining giant Barrick Gold is looking to acquire more copper assets in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to strengthen its portfolio.

The company is looking to buy a world-class deposit in the DRC, Reuters reported, citing Barrick Gold Africa and the Middle East chief operating officer Willem Jacobs.

Speaking in an investor presentation, Jacobs said: “Barrick has one of the best competitive advantages in the DRC, should a world-class opportunity present itself in the region.

“Exploiting [our] already substantial footprint and presence in the DRC to acquire a world-class deposit is certainly an opportunity which we will pursue.”

At the investor day in London, the company outlined plans for exploration, expansion, streamlining and asset sales.

The plans come ahead of the completion of planned closure of Barrick’s $6.1bn acquisition of Randgold Resources in January next year. The merger received clearance from the South African Competition Tribunal earlier this month.

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By GlobalData

Randgold projects and evaluation head Rod Quick stated that Barrick is open to copper assets “as long as that copper is a component or co-product to the gold, or, unless that copper project will enhance our strategic partner network.”

“Barrick has one of the best competitive advantages in the DRC, should a world-class opportunity present itself in the region.”

Barrick also noted that it is planning to undertake exploration outside its operating base.

In Africa, the company’s focus will be on engaging with the governments of the DRC and Zambia on reforming the country’s Mining Code, negotiating a settlement with the Tanzanian government regarding Acacia assets, and to increase its project footprint in the DRC.

The company has started negotiations to sell its Lagunas Norte gold mine in Peru. The mine, which has proven reserves of 1.8Moz and probable reserves of 2.2Moz, produced 195Koz in the third quarter.