African Barrick ousts chief as gold price sinks

AFRICAN Barrick Gold, one of that continent's five biggest producers of the precious metal, has replaced its chief executive following a rout on commodity prices.

The Tanzania-focused mid-cap miner unveiled $185m (£118m) of cost cuts last month as the group attempted to counter the ill effects of June's three-year low in the gold price of less than $1,200 per troy ounce.

However, this plan has not been enough to save the job of Greg Hawkins, who African Barrick said had left to "pursue other opportunities".

The Australian had been at the helm since the company was spun out of its parent group Barrick Gold and listed in London in 2010. In that time, African Barrick shares have lost more than 70 per cent of their value.

Mr Hawkins has been replaced by the Brad Gordon, who previously ran the Indonesia-focused precious metals explorer Intrepid Mines. Mr Gordon said it was "imperative that we implement the initiatives identified in the operational review".

But some analysts are worried a change at the top could destabilise the company. In a note, Citi said: "Mr Gordon may turn out to be as good as or better than Mr Hawkins, but we feel that this is coming at a very inopportune time."