African Barrick gold output up but miner sinks to $781 mln loss

LONDON Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:28am EST

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LONDON Feb 12 (Reuters) - Miner African Barrick Gold posted its first annual production increase in five years but sank to a net loss of $781 million in 2013 weighed down by a heavy impairment charge and weakened gold prices.

African Barrick said on Wednesday it produced 641,931 ounces of gold in the year to the end of December, 3 percent more than last year.

But it sank to a $781 million loss from a $62.8 million profit a year earlier on the back of a $823 million impairment charge.

The Tanzania-focused FTSE 250 company was under pressure even before a 28 percent dive in gold prices last year, hit by illegal mining, power generation problems and strikes.

Under Chief Executive Brad Gordon, who was appointed in August, the company is undertaking steps to overhaul its business.

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