Barrick, Newmont end merger talks

Canada's Barrick Gold announced Monday that it had been in merger talks with its American rival Newmont to create the world's largest gold miner, but that those have now failed.

"Although Barrick believes the interests of shareholders are best served through the completion of this business combination, Newmont's board has determined that the interests of Newmont's shareholders are best served by remaining independent," said a brief statement.

Several media had cited unnamed sources saying last week a multi-billion dollar takeover was in the works to merge the two companies' complementary Nevada operations and spin off other assets, including in Australia and New Zealand.

It was not the first time the two gold miners had flirted with the idea of a tie-up.

Outgoing Barrick chairman Peter Munk in an interview with the Financial Post blamed major cultural differences between Barrick and Newmont for their failure to come together.

He described Barrick as an aggressive risk taker, while Newmont is more conservative.