African Barrick Gold unveils a solid first quarter performance

Suzie Neuwirth
TANZANIA-based gold miner African Barrick Gold yesterday announced its first quarter results as “on track” despite gold prices hitting record lows this week.

“We have made a good start to 2013, and remain on track to achieve full year guidance, as we continue to deliver on our mine plan while progressing the operational review,” said chief executive Greg Hawkins.

Gold hit a two-year low on Monday to under $1,350 per ounce, after disappointing growth rate data from China and concerns about the US recovery.

However, most analysts remain positive on the company.

“This [gold] sell-off has created some short and long term opportunities to pick these mining stocks up at what could be once-in-a-lifetime low prices,” said broker Tradenext.

Numis was slightly more reticent and said that the results show a “ decent start to the year” but expected the stock “to remain under pressure until sustained successful delivery of results and completion of the operational review”.

African Barrick Gold launched an operational review earlier this year to improve returns and cash flow generation.

The review focuses on operating costs, capital costs, organisational structure, corporate overheads and mine planning.

The company has reduced capex for 2013 by $50m and reduced its exploration budget to $22m.