When big companies make moves, everyone in the area feels it.

On July 1, Barrick Gold Corporation and Newmont Goldcorp Corporation—two of the world’s largest gold mining operations—announced the formation of their joint venture, Nevada Gold Mines LLC, majority owned by Barrick. Various Newmont assets, including several large area ranches, have been transferred to Barrick.

Elko Land and Livestock was among those assets. The ranch is massive, covering about 1.2 million acres across 19 BLM allotments in northeastern Nevada, and runs 11,500-15,000 head of cattle, according to a recent report by the Elko Daily Free Press.

Other Newmont ranches that may have been impacted by the merger included the TS Ranch, the Horseshoe Ranch, the Big Springs Ranch, the IL Ranch, and the Palisade Ranch.

There have been numerous rumors regarding what will happen with the ranches and little solid information. WLJ reached out to various representatives of both mining companies and Elko Land and Livestock. By press time, only one representative from the new joint company responded to questions.

George Fennemore—Nevada Gold Mine’s head of permitting, land, and ranches—responded to WLJ’s questions about what the merger will mean for area ranches, including Elko Land and Livestock, in a brief email, saying:

“Barrick and Newmont Goldcorp recently entered into a joint venture in Nevada, named Nevada Gold Mines, which includes the majority of both companies’ assets in Nevada. As part of this agreement, Elko Land and Livestock Co. (ELLCo.) remains its own entity, but all of ELLCo.’s Nevada assets have become part of the joint venture.

Mountain Cattle generic

Cattle bathe in the warmth of the sun below the Carson Ridge of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Nevada's Carson Valley.

“In the near term, Nevada Gold Mines will continue to operate the many ranch properties as they have been managed by Newmont Goldcorp and Barrick. Over the coming months, leadership will be reviewing the current state operations to develop a path forward that aligns with the priorities and values of Nevada Gold Mines.”

WLJ reached out to Dr. J.J. Goicoechea, DVM, and chairman of the Eureka County Commissioners, to find more information and get local perspective on the merger. He reported shock in the area that the companies let several ranch managers go rather suddenly. He opined that the affected ranches will likely come under “one umbrella” and be leased out, but that rumors of Simplot leasing the affected ranches are not true.

Look for more coverage as more information becomes available. — Kerry Halladay, WLJ editor

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