MineWeb reports on Russell''s pro-gold views at New Orleans Investment Conference

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By JACQUIE MCNISH AND WENDY STUECK
Globe & Mail, Toronto
Friday, November 8, 2002
http://www.globeandmail.com

TORONTO and VANCOUVER -- Placer Dome Inc. shares have
been caught up in a torrent of trading as major mining players
mull possible takeover scenarios.

Industry sources said a number of foreign and domestic mining
companies have privately expressed interest in acquiring some
of Vancouver-based Placer's far-flung international gold mining
assets in recent months, but no suitor has shown interest in
bidding for the entire company.

Placer is the world's fifth-largest gold producer with 14 mines
in countries such as South Africa, Papua New Guinea, Canada,
the United States, and Chile. The stock -- which has been on a
tear since mid-October -- has been trading at unusually heavy
volumes this week, with nearly 20 million shares changing
hands over the past two days.

Sources familiar with some potential suitors said a number of
proposals are being floated to resolve concerns about Placer's
asset mix. For example, these sources said, one tentative
proposal calls for a syndicate of buyers to launch a bid.

If such a bid were successful, syndicate members would
divide Placer's various assets among themselves.

Suitors that have been approached about joining the
syndicate, sources said, include Denver-based Newmont
Mining Corp., Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp. and some
unidentified pension funds and financial investors.

Markets were rife with rumours yesterday that
London-based AngloGold Ltd. might soon mount a bid on
its own or as a joint bid with another mining company.

But one source familiar with the company said Placer's
South Deep gold mine in South Africa was unattractive to
AngloGold because it is seeking to lower its exposure to
the politically unstable region.

"Everyone wants certain assets at Placer, but not all the
assets," said one person familiar with some of the suitors.
"There have been some very in-depth conversations about
how to resolve this issue."

Placer spokeswoman Brenda Radies said the company
does not comment on rumours and added that the company's
stock could be rising for reasons that have nothing to do with
a potential takeover.

For example, she said, Placer recently won its lengthy battle
for control of Australia-based AurionGold Ltd.

A Toronto spokesman for Barrick said the company does not
comment on market rumours. Representatives for Newmont
and AngloGold could not be reached for comment.

One industry source said Barrick has privately expressed
interest in Placer's Nevada gold mines over the past year. But
another source familiar with Barrick said it "is not interested"
in a bid for Placer.

Newmont is widely regarded as a leading suitor because it is
attracted to Placer Dome's gold mines in Australia, a region in
which it is seeking to expand.

In a research report issued Wednesday by Scotia Capital Inc.
analyst David Mallalieu, he concluded that there was a greater
likelihood of Newmont launching a bid than AngloGold.

Mr. Mallalieu's report said an initial bid for Placer would likely
offer about $20 a share or higher. Such a bid, he said, "would
have to take into consideration that there might be a counteroffer
from a company that could afford to increase the ante."

Placer Dome's share price has been steadily climbing in the
past three weeks and in the past two days the company saw an
extraordinary leap in trading activity.

Yesterday, nearly 12 million Placer shares traded hands on the
Toronto Stock Exchange and on Wednesday nearly eight million
shares were traded. On an average day 3.8 million Placer shares
are traded on the TSX.

The company's stock has risen from a recent low of $12.85 a
share on October 18 to $16.08 at yesterday's close.

The stock price eased slightly yesterday by 25 cents.

Some analysts said that as Placer's stock price moves higher,
its appeal as a takeover candidate could diminish.

Although Placer has been seen as a potential takeover target for
much of the past year, industry sources said speculation heated
up earlier this fall when a Toronto investor sold a large stake in
the
company.

Market sources said Goldcorp Inc. sold a stake in Placer some
time this fall and since then either one or a number of large
investors has steadily accumulated a stake in the mining
company.

A spokesman for Goldcorp was not available yesterday. In its
third-quarter statement the company said it realized a
$2-million profit by selling its shares in what it described as
"a potential takeover target." But, the company said, "upon
further analysis, this holding was sold."