Barrick Gold has entered into a support agreement to acquire all issued and outstanding common shares of Equinox Minerals in a takeover offer valued at C$7.3bn ($7.6bn).

Equinox assets include the 100% owned Lumwana mine in Zambia and the 70% owned Jabal Sayid development project in Saudi Arabia.

The Lumwana mine consists of £4.5bn of copper reserves along with an additional £5.5bn of inferred copper resources, and Jaybal Sayid consists of £1.2bn of reserves.

Barrick Gold president Aaron Regent said the acquisition would position Barrick with significant production growth potential in two of the most prolific copper-producing regions of the world.

“This will be in addition to our targeted growth in annual gold production to 9 million ounces within the next five years,” Regent said.