The chief defended the company's competing bid to merge with Newmont. But Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg is interested in merging with Goldcorp for $10 billion and would rather form a joint venture with Barrick Gold to mine in Nevada.
"There's been debate about the Nevada joint venture. That is a large part of the missing billions," Bristow said in an interview with "Mad Money's" Jim Cramer. "Maybe he's being a little defensive on the bigger deal, but what he has said to the market and what we are engaged with right now is can we find a way to deliver real value out of Nevada where all this conversation started and then we can worry about the rest later."
Barrick Gold has said its proposal to merge in an all-share transaction has $7 billion net present value of real synergies. The deal would give Barrick 55 percent and Newmont 45 percent of economic interest, according to analyst consensus. It also proposes that both companies would have an equal amount of representation on the management and technical committees.
Nevada is "capable of delivering a lot more" in gold mining, Bristow said. His company reported producing 4.5 million ounces of gold in 2018. Barrick Gold contends Nevada, where about 76 million ounces are available, could be worth a lot more under one operator.
"If you put these assets together and we unlock those [billions], we can do it without issuing a single stock," Bristow said.