Barrick suspends ops at Tanzanian gold mine after clash with intruders

24 December 2008 | 04:19 Code : 18452 Geoscience events
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) said on Friday it had suspended operations at its North Mara...

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) said on Friday it had suspended operations at its North Mara mine in Tanzania after about 200 people charged the mine and clashed with security personnel, causing about $15 million in damages."There was a serious intrusion... security guys were overwhelmed, and they did some damage to some equipment," Barrick spokesman Vince Borg said in Toronto.He said he wasn’t sure when the mine would restart but said he had been told the intruders had left the site.A report on the Tanzanian Daily News online website said a at least one civilian had been shot dead, but Borg couldn’t confirm that.Much of the damage was due to equipment that had been set ablaze.North Mara is one of Barrick’s smaller mines, producing 43,000 ounces of gold in the third quarter and 155,000 in the first nine months of the year.Cash costs in the quarter spiked over $1,000 an ounce, due in part to low production, Borg said. Gold was $820 an ounce on Friday."North Mara is in an area that has a high level of crime, and it’s got operational challenges and high costs," said Borg, adding that the company was examining options for making the mine safer and more profitable.Barrick’s shares rose C$1.01 to C$38.91 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday.

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