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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 August, 2003, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Ghana's gold 'lures Canada'
Gold from an Ashanti mine in Ghana
Ashanti is Ghana's biggest employer

Two Canadian firms are ready to stage rival bids for Ghana's largest employer, Ashanti Goldfields, according to a press report.

South Africa's AngloGold has been waiting for government approval for its $1.1bn (680m) bid since May.

But the competition to take over Ghana's biggest gold miner intensified this month when London-listed Randgold entered the fray with an initial bid worth almost $1.5bn.

Now, the Independent newspaper has reported that both Barrick Resources and Placer Dome are working on their respective offers.

Neither firm confirmed the reports, but both said they were pursuing a strategy of growth by acquisition.

World's biggest

Lonmin, the largest shareholder in Ashanti, has already given its blessing to the AngloGold offer.

But the Ghanaian government, which has a 20% golden share in its former state miner, has the final say.

Some sources have suggested that the government has been delaying the process in order to attract higher bidders.

AngloGold chief executive Bobby Godsell, however, still says his is the best offer.

"I will not surprise you by saying that I think we are overwhelmingly the right partner for Ashanti," Mr Godsell told World Business Report earlier this month.

If AngloGold wins the Ghanaian firm, it will overtake Australia's Newmont to become the world's largest gold miner.

Ashanti has mines in six different countrie,s and is one of Africa's few non-South African multinationals.


SEE ALSO:
Fresh bid for Ghana gold mine
11 Aug 03  |  Business
AngloGold offer for Ashanti
05 Aug 03  |  Business
Diamonds prop up Anglo profits
08 Aug 03  |  Business
SA gold mine strike averted
27 Jul 03  |  Business
AngloGold hits takeover trail
16 May 03  |  Business
AngloGold workers agree pay deal
23 Jan 03  |  Business
Anglo American quits Zambia
20 Aug 02  |  Business


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