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African Barrick cuts costs, to acquire more gold assets in 2015

African Barrick cuts costs, to acquire more gold assets in 2015

African Barrick is said to be aiming for more autonomy from its Canadian parent, which may include a name change.

African Barrick Gold (LON:ABG), Tanzania’s largest gold miner, reported Thursday a drop in overall expenses for an eighth successive quarter after cutting about 500 jobs at its flagship Bulyanhulu mine in the African country during the quarter ended Sept. 30.

The mine, which produced 198,286 ounces of gold in 2013 at an overall cost of $1,344 per ounce sold, now employs around 1,900 people, compared with 3,400 a year ago.

The mid-cap gold miner, which spun off from Canada’s Barrick Gold (TSX, NYSE:ABX) in 2010, has been tightening its belt since 2012, as it has been hit hard by low bullion prices and higher costs.

To offset these factors African Barrick has been accelerating production at Bulyanhulu, the largest of its three operating mines in Tanzania, by increasing its use of technology.

As a result, African Barrick reported a 17% jump in third-quarter core profit, and said it anticipates full-year costs at the lower end of it target range of $1,100-$1,175 per ounce sold.

The company also added it has not abandoned plans to add new gold mines.

“Next year we will start to look around,” Chief Executive Officer Brad Gordon, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. “When and if we do a deal it will be a transformational deal, and it will be in Africa.”

African Barrick currently employs about 5,600 workers and 3,500 contractors. It recently began exploration activities in neighbouring Kenya.

Shares in the company were up almost 4% at 202.40 pence in afternoon trade (2:17 pm GMT).