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Barrick Gold Corp. is acquiring Homestake Mining Co. for $2.2 billion in an all-stock deal that will create the world's second-largest gold producer.

John Ing, a gold analyst with Maison Placements in Toronto, called the move "very timely for Barrick" given the prospect for rising gold prices.

Ing said the Barrick-Homestake deal also could spark further mergers involving other Canadian companies such as Vancouver-based Placer Dome, Canada's No. 2 gold producer after Barrick, along with Franco-Nevada Mining Corp. and Kinross Gold Corp. of Toronto.

The new company will rank only behind South African mining giant Anglo American PLC in terms of gold production.

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