Another gold CEO bites the dust – this time at African Barrick – by Lawrence Williams ( – August 21, 2013)

African Barrick Gold’s CEO Greg Hawkins has resigned and has been replaced by Bradley Gordon, formerly with Intrepid Mines, to try and improve the fortunes of the African gold miner.

LONDON (MINEWEB) – African Barrick Gold (ABG), which has seldom seemed able to meet its operating objectives since its spin-off from parent Barrick Gold and listing on the London Stock Exchange three years ago, has announced the resignation of its Chief Executive Officer, Greg Hawkins ‘to pursue other opportunities’, and his replacement by Australian Bradley Gordon who takes over with immediate effect. Gordon resigned from his previous position as CEO of Intrepid Mines last month – presumably with the ABG appointment already settled.

Thus, Hawkins is the latest gold mining company CEO to be ousted, in this case to see if new blood can revitalise the ailing African gold miner. African Barrick stock has lost 73% of its value since its launch in 2010 and, although part of this fall is attributable to the plunging gold price and so outside management control, Hawkins is seemingly carrying the can for the company’s continual underperformance.

ABG operates three mines in Tanzania and is that country’s largest gold miner. The flagship mine is the Bulyanhulu underground operation and the others are Buzwagi (open pit) and North Mara, also an open pit operation. A fourth mine, Tulawaka, was closed down earlier this year as it was uneconomic. The company does also have several promising exploration projects at various stages of development in Tanzania and also across the border in Kenya.

Perhaps Hawkins has been the victim of corporate policy. Much of the company’s existence as a separately quoted company has seen it up for sale and maybe management’s focus has been on the sale aspects at the expense of operational ones.

However, since the long drawn out negotiations over the sale to China National Gold Group Corporation broke down at the beginning of this year, there has been a much stronger management focus on operations leading to a considerable improvement in performance in this year’s Q2.

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