Barrick Gold’s (TSX:ABX)(NYSE:GOLD) chief executive Mark Bristow said Monday he’s open to negotiate with rival Newmont about a deal to work together in Nevada, but only if his company runs the operations.

“Nevada, with a combined 76M ounces, will be worth a whole lot more if it is run by one operator,” Bristow said earlier in the day, adding that Barrick can do that more efficiently than Newmont.

“My suggestion is that Gary [Goldberg, Newmont’s CEO] gets his team up here tomorrow,” Bristow told the Financial Times. “Time is of the essence.”

Barrick had previously said that teaming up in Nevada was not “the right path” forward. Only last week, the Canadian gold miner said teaming up in Nevada was not “the right path” forward. It noted it would not enable full realization of benefits due to duplicate administration, conflicting priorities and cumbersome governance.

Earlier in the day, Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) rejected the Toronto-based company’s $18 billion unsolicited acquisition offer, countering with a proposal for a joint venture (JV) in Nevada. Such deal would be worth billions of dollars and create a major operator in the largest U.S. gold-producing region.

The contra-proposal stated that the Toronto-based rival would hold a 55% interest in the Nevada JV, while the Newmont-Goldcorp merged company would have a 45% stake.

The two gold miners have held merger talks every decade or so for almost thirty years, with the last one before today’s blowing at the 11th hour in