Barrick Tanzania gold mine to resume Friday

DAR ES SALAAM, March 17 Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:40pm EDT

DAR ES SALAAM, March 17 (Reuters) - African Barrick Gold (ABG) will resume operations at its Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania on Friday following a fatal accident that halted all mining three days earlier, the company said in a statement.

Three men were trapped 900 metres below ground early on Tuesday by a rock fall in the mine, which is 55 km (34 miles) south of Lake Victoria and has estimated reserves of more than 10 million ounces.

"Unfortunately, rescue efforts were unsuccessful," ABG said on Wednesday. "Mining operations will be suspended for a period of mourning on March 18, 2010 as a sign of respect and are expected to be fully restored thereafter."

The last fatality at the mine was in February 2006, when rock fell and killed one miner.

Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) said last month it was spinning off its African gold assets into a new London-listed company called African Barrick Gold. It will become the biggest British-based gold miner when it starts trading in April. [ID:nN18196026]

Bulyanhulu gold mine processed 959,150 tonnes of ore in 2009 and produced 249,000 ounces of gold at a cash cost of $651 per ounce of gold sold. The mine forecasts 2010 gold production of 260,000 ounces, at a total cash cost of $545 per ounce. (Editing by David Clarke)

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