Barrick Gold Corp. cut more than 200 jobs and shut one of three pits at its North Mara mine in northern Tanzania after theft and vandalism increased costs.
“The operation has experienced higher than expected operating costs,” Teweli K. Teweli, a spokesman in Tanzania, said in a statement e-mailed to reporters today. The company has “revised its labor requirements downwards by 19 percent.”
Police said on Jan. 26 they shot dead an intruder at the North Mara mine. Operations were temporarily suspended a month before after hundreds of people clashed with security, leaving one dead and $7 million in damages to property and equipment.
“Voluntary separation incentives” were accepted by 194 Tanzanian employees, while 22 foreign contract workers were laid off, the company said. About 715 remain, it said.
Barrick expects the open-pit mine to produce 225,000 to 245,000 ounces of gold in 2009, the statement said.
Tanzania is Africa’s third-largest gold producer after South Africa and Ghana. Barrick owns two other mines in Tanzania and is due to open a fourth in the country this year.
To contact the reporters on this story: Sarah McGregor via the Johannesburg bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org