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BHP Billiton's Mount Whaleback mine in Australia.
BHP Billiton's Mount Whaleback mine in Australia.
(BHP BILLITON/REUTERS)

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Canadian mining writeoffs top $12-billion

Less than two years ago, Barrick Gold Corp. stunned the mining world by acquiring Equinox Minerals Ltd. for a staggering $7.3-billion in cash.

The deal was a head-scratcher then – a gold company buying a copper miner – and an even bigger one now. The mining giant just wrote off $3.8-billion related to the acquisition, over half of the total purchase price.