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CNBC Exclusive Interview: Barrick Gold CEO Greg Wilkins Speaks to Erin Burnett on "Street Signs" (Transcript Included)

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WHEN: August 28th at 2:30PM ET
WHERE: CNBC's "Street Signs"

The following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Barrick Gold CEO Greg Wilkins on CNBC's "Street Signs" today at 2:30 PM ET.

In the exclusive interview with CNBC's Erin Burnett, Wilkins discusses the rumors regarding a takeover of Newmont Mining, the U.S. markets and the gold market, among other topics.

ERIN: ALL RIGHT, THANKS TO YOU, RICK SANTELLI AND NOW THE GREAT GOLD RUSH OF 2007. GOLD PRICES HAVE RISEN AND COMPANIES ARE MERGING TO KEEP DOWN COSTS AND CONTINUE TO MAKE MONEY. TODAY, BARRICK GOLD, THE WORLD'S LARGEST GOLD PRODUCERS DENIED RUMORS OF A POSSIBLE TAKEOVER OF NEWMONT MINING AND GREG WILKINS, CEO OF BARRICK GOLD, YOUR SPOKESPERSON DENIED THE RUMORS AND LET'S HEAR IT FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH, NEWMOUNT MINING, YES OR NO.

GREG WILKINS: ERIN FIRST IT IS NICE TO BE ON THE SHOW AND IF WE ARE MAKING OF YOU NEWMONT I MUST HAVE MISSED THE BOARD MEETING. AND IT IS -- WE HAVE A GREAT PROGRAM IN FRONT OF US, IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING NEW MINES SINCE 2004, WE HAVE COMMISSIONED FIVE PROPERTIES AND JUST THIS PAST JULY WE ANNOUNCED ANOTHER ONE AND WE A PIPELINE OF 8 PROJECTS WE'LL BE UNDERTAKING THE NEXT FIVE YEARS AND WE FEEL WELL-POSITIONED, YOU KNOW, AS WE ARE TODAY.

ERIN: WHY IT'S THESE RUMORS WON'T GO AWAY, YOU DENIED IT IN MARCH AND DENY IT NOW. WHY IS NEWMONT NOT THE RIGHT PARTNER, TELL WHY YOU DON'T LIKE NEWMONT AND THIS IS WHY YOU WON'T BUY THEM.

WILKINS: WELL I THINK THE REASON PEOPLE SPECULATE IS WE SHARE A LOT OF PROPERTY IN NEVADA AND THERE ARE SYNERGIES TO BE HAD BETWEEN THE TWO COMPANIES BUT WHEN WE DO OUR EVALUATIONS, OF THE VARIOUS PROSPECTS WE HAVE, VERSUS OTHERS, YOU KNOW, WE FIND THAT OUR PROSPECTS ON A RELATIVE BASIS ARE MUCH BETTER THAN TRYING TO PUT THE COMPANIES TOGETHER. SO, IT JUST REALLY ISN'T A GREAT DEAL OF INTEREST, YOU KNOW, WE DON'T KNOW MUCH MORE ABOUT NEWMONT THAN WHAT YOU GUYS DO AND READ IN THE PRESS.

ERIN: NOT A GREAT DEAL OF INTEREST, YOU DON'T HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF INTEREST IN THEM, THE BOTTOM LINE.

WILKINS: THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE.

ERIN: NOW THAT IS PUT TO REST AT LEAST FOR THE MOMENT UNTIL IT REARS ITS UGLY HEAD AND YOU CAN TELL EVERYONE TO STOP TALKING ABOUT --

WILKINS: PROBABLY QUARTERLY.

ERIN: RIGHT. EXACTLY ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE WAY THINGS OFFER AND OVERALL PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR COMBINATIONS IN YOUR SECTOR AND TAKE NEWMONT OFF THE TABLE AND WHAT ABOUT ANOTHER ACQUISITION, MAYBE SMALLER THAN NEWMONT.

WILKINS: WE'RE ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR GOOD OPPORTUNITIES AND THERE ARE SOME. YOU KNOW, THE INDUSTRY, THOUGH, IS REALLY STRUGGLING FROM A LACK OF INVESTMENT. FINE TO TALK ABOUT GREAT GOLD PRICE THIS LAST COUPLE OF YEARS. BUT, YOU KNOW, THE BANK OF ENGLAND TRIED TO PUT THIS GOLDMINING INDUSTRY OUT OF BUSINESS IN 1999. AND THERE WAS VERY LITTLE INVESTMENT FOR MANY YEARS AND SO, TAKES A LONG TIME TO DISCOVER NEW THINGS AND TO DISCOVER NEW OPPORTUNITIES. AND FRANKLY THERE ISN'T THAT MUCH OUT THERE OF PARTICULAR INTEREST. SO WE CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES AND WE DAID LARGE ACQUISITION OF PLASTERDOME IN 2005, AND POSITIONED US WELL GOING FORWARD AND WE CONTINUE TO LOOK AND WE ARE INTERNALLY FOCUSED BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING TO GROW OR PIPELINE OF PROJECTS AND CREATE VALUE FOR OUR SHAREHOLDERS THAT WAY.

ERIN: AND IT IS INTERESTING, YOU TALK ABOUT THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT. RIGHT NOW, THOSE WHO DON'T LIKE GOLD AS AN ASSET CLASS TALK ABOUT A GLOBAL DEFLATION.

WILKINS: RIGHT.

ERIN: DEFLATIONARY SITUATION. WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON INFLATION GLOBALLY, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS GOLD MARKET, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THOSE WHO SAY I THINK DEFLATION IS THIS WAY WE ARE GOING FOR THE NEXT DECADE OR MORE?

WILKINS: YOU KNOW, I REALLY THINK THAT -- WHEN PEOPLE TALK ABOUT INFLATION/DEFLATION THEY ARE REALLY TALKING ABOUT INVESTORS' MOTIVATION FOR OWNING GOLD AND INVESTORS' MOTIVATION IS ONLY ONE COMPONENT OF GOLD OWNERSHIP AND 80% OF THE GOLD PRODUCED IN THE WORLD IS CONSUMED THROUGH JEWELRY AND SOME INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS. AND THE IN INVESTMENT DEMAND FOR WHATEVER REASON, BE IT DEFLATION, INFLATION, FLIGHT-TO-QUALITY, YOU KNOW, SAFE HAVEN, JUST INVESTOR MOTIVATIONS AND I THINK THE BULK OF THE MARKET IS ACTUALLY VERY STRONG IN THE SECOND QUARTER, THE WORLD GOLD COUNCIL PUBLISHED SECOND QUARTER JEWELRY STATISTICS, UP 37% TO A RECORD, YOU KNOW, AND THAT WAS SOME $14.5 BILLION WORTH OF PURCHASES AND THE SECOND QUARTER IS NOT A PARTICULARLY STRONG QUARTER. IN OUR INDUSTRY AND REALLY THE EMERGING MARKETS, INDIA, CHINA, RUSSIA, AND THOSE MARKETS THAT HAVE GREAT INTEREST IN GOLD WHERE THE PRINCIPAL DEMAND IS COMING FROM, AND ON THE SUPPLY SIDE, YOU KNOW, IT IS CHALLENGED AND I THINK SUPPLY IS DECLINING SO THE SUPPLY DEMAND IMBALANCE IS POSITIVE FOR THE GOLD PRICE GOING FORWARD.

ERIN: I WAS LOOKING AT THOSE NUMBERS AND WOULD IMAGINE YOU HAVE THEM EMBLAZON ON YOUR BRAIN AND LET ME ASK YOU, OBVIOUSLY A BIG ISSUE AS OF LATE, WHAT STARTED THE ASSET-BACKED COMMERCIAL PAPER MARKET AS A FAULT LINE FOR THE CREDIT SITUATION GLOBALLY WAS CONVENTRY. THE CONDUIT BASED IN CANADA AND I KNOW THAT YOUR COMPANY ALONG WITH OTHERS HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH THAT, SORT OF MAKING IT DIFFICULT FOR SHORT-TERM FINANCING. HAS THAT WORKED? WORKED ITS WAY THROUGH? DO YOU FEEL CONFIDENT WITH SHORT-TERM FINANCING AND ARE YOU WORRIED AS A CEO WITH THE COMMERCIAL PAPER MARKET.

WILKINS: WE ARE NOT IN THE COMMERCIAL PAPER MARKET AND DON'T FINANCE OUR ASSETS THROUGH THE COMMERCIAL PAPER MARKET. WE HAD VERY SMALL -- $2.6 BILLION IN CASH, AND WE HAD A SMALL INVESTMENT IN A COMMERCIAL PAPER, IT WASN'T COVENTRY, WE HAD NO EXPOSURETO CONVENTRY IN PARTICULAR. SO, YOU KNOW, FOR US IT IS REALLY NOT -- A NONEVENT. AND, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY, ACCESS TO CAPITAL IS -- DEBT IS IMPORTANT GOING FORWARD AND I THINK THAT WILL BE CONSTRAINED FOR SOME TIME UNTIL THIS ISSUE WORKS ITSELF THROUGH. MY MORE PRINCIPAL CONCERN WAS REALLY WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO THE ECONOMY GENERALLY, IN THE U.S., AND, YOU KNOW, AS WE HAVE SEEN, A SLOWDOWN IN HOUSING AND, YOU KNOW, SORT OF POTENTIAL FOR RECESSION AND THAT AFFECTS PEOPLE'S PURCHASES FOR LUXURY GOODS AND JEWELRY IS LUXURY GOODS AND COULD BE SOFTENING IN DEMAND BUT IN TERMS OF RUNNING OUR BUSINESS, NO IMPACT.

ERIN: BECAUSE YOU SAID THAT, I KNOW WE HAVE TO GO, BUT YOU TALK ABOUT A POTENTIAL SOFTENING IN THE U.S. MARKET. AND OBVIOUSLY GOLD WOULD BE A HIGH END PRODUCT. DO YOU SEE IT? YOU SAID YOU ARE SORT OF WATCHING OUT FOR IT. DO YOU SEE IT?

WILKINS: WELL, YOU KNOW, NOT -- DON'T SEE IT MORE THAN PERHAPS THE OTHER ANALYSTS ON THE STREET, COMMENT ON IT. THERE HAS BEEN NO SLOWDOWN IN GOLD JEWELRY DEMAND IN THE U.S., THAT WE HAVE SEEN TODATE. ONE THING THAT IS QUITE INTERESTING, THOUGH, WHILE THE U.S. IS A VERY LARGE MARKET FOR JEWELRY OFF-TAKE IT IS LOW CARATAGE AND THE PRICE POINTED PER UNIT IS LOW, SOMETHING ON THE ORDER OF $49 PER ITEM OF JEWELRY AND THE HIGH CARATAGE JEWELRY WHICH TRADES BY WEIGHT ARE IN THE EMERGING MARKETS I REFERRED TO BEFORE.

ERIN: THANK YOU VERY MUCH, WE APPRECAITE YOUR JOINING US ON "STREET SIGNS".

WILKINS: MY PLEASURE.



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