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29 October 2012 | Anna Reynolds
Tanzania-based mining firm African Barrick Gold (ABG) has announced a 72.8 per cent drop in net profit to $28,646 (£17,835) and a 19 per cent decrease in gold production in 2012 compared with the same period in 2011.
In its third quarter results, ABG said full-year gold production would be about 5-10 per cent below the bottom of its previous range of 675,000 to 725,000 ounces of gold, despite increased production at its North Mara site.
Fluctuations in the spot price of gold resulting from economic and political instability was also cited as a contributing factor, with a lower average realised gold price of $86 (£53) lower per ounce at $1,688 (£1051), compared to 2011, when it was $1774 (£1104)per ounce.
Commenting on the company’s results, CEO Greg Hawkins said: “We have seen the ramp up in grade [better quality gold] at North Mara, which is positive and expected to continue in Q4, but have been disrupted in our efforts to mine it at a normal rate given an increase in illegal mining operations.
“Our focus over the last quarter of 2012 and into 2013 is on building on the grade profile at North Mara, improving stope [a form of extraction] availability at Bulyanhulu and plant throughput at Buzwagi, as well as minimising the ongoing operational disruption that has resulted from the offer period we are currently in.
“Looking to the longer term, our acquisition of a large exploration package [of land] in Kenya represents an important first step in expanding the business more broadly in Africa.”