African Barrick CEO quits amid sharp gold fall

Hit by rising costs and declining gold prices, African Barrick (LON:ABG) announced Wednesday it has appointed a new CEO, Brad Gordon, who is replacing Greg Hawkins effective immediately.

As most miners, African Barrick —Tanzania's largest gold company— has been struck by lower bullion prices, high costs and production delays resulting in three consecutive years of output decline, and a 73% value loss since it listed in London in 2010.

The company said that exiting executive Greg Hawkins had left “to pursue other interests,” giving no further details for his sudden departure.

The new CEO, industry veteran Brad Gordon, inherits the challenging task of turning around the struggling company’s operations, particularly in Tanzania. There the miner faces multiple issues, such as illegal mining, strikes, electricity shortages and even a lawsuit.

Last month, a group of Tanzanian villagers filed in London a claim over the deaths and injuries of locals, including one incident where five men were shot and killed at the North Mara gold mine in May 2011.

The mid-cap gold miner employs about 5,600 workers and 3,500 contractors.