AFRICAN BARRICK GOLD PLC: Fourth Quarter Report for the 3 months ended 31.12.12

AFRICAN BARRICK GOLD PLC: Fourth Quarter Report for the 3 months ended 31.12.12
17th January 2013 
Fourth Quarter Report for the three months ended 31 December 2012 
Based on IFRS and expressed in US Dollars (US$) 
African Barrick Gold plc ("ABG'') reports fourth quarter production results 
→ Gold production of 180,684 ounces in the fourth quarter, up 13% Y-on-Y and
22% Q-on-Q 
* Fourth quarter gold production of 180,684 ounces and gold sales of 159,585 

      + Production increased 13% over the prior year period and 22% over the
        third quarter due to improved throughput at Buzwagi and increased head
        grade at both North Mara and Buzwagi, partially offset by lower grade
        at Bulyanhulu
      + As a result of production weighted towards the back end of the quarter,
        gold sales were flat compared to Q4 2011

  * Attributable production for the full year was 626,212 ounces (Group 

    production of 639,510 ounces1), 9% lower than 2011 with attributable gold
    sales for the full year of 609,252 ounces (Group sales of 622,932 ounces1),
    13% lower than 2011
      * Full year cash costs per ounce sold2 are expected to be in line with
    guidance of US$900 - US$950 per ounce, at the top end of the range
      * The average realised price of US$1,700 per ounce over the quarter and
    US$1,668 per ounce for the full year were 3% and 5% higher than the prior
    year comparisons
      * Renewal of the North Mara Special Mining Licences on the existing terms and
    conditions and for a 15 year period
      * Exploration programme initiated following acquisition of interests in
    highly prospective exploration licences in Kenya
      * Post period end, talks between our majority shareholder Barrick Gold
    Corporation ("Barrick") and China National Gold Group Corporation ("CNG")
      * Operational Review initiated to drive improved returns and free cash flow
    generation from the existing asset base
    African Barrick Gold plc          Three months ended      Twelve months ended  
                                     31 December            31 December        

(Unaudited)                         2012    2011   %       2012    2011    %    
                                             change                 change  
Operating results                                                               
Tonnes mined (thousands of        13,942  10,546  32%    48,301  45,053   7%   
Ore tonnes processed (thousands    2,067   1,729  20%     7,698   7,409   4%   
of tonnes)                                                                      
Recovery rate (percent)            90.0%   87.3%   3%     88.3%   87.7%   1%    
Average grade (grams per tonne)      3.0     3.3  -9%       2.9     3.3  -12%   
Attributable gold production     180,684 160,020  13%   626,212 688,278   -9%  
(ounces) 1                                                                      
Attributable gold sold (ounces)  159,585 158,869   0%   609,252 699,539  -13%  
Average realised gold price per    1,700   1,655   3%     1,668   1,587   5%   
ounce sold ($)2                                                                 
Copper production (thousands of    4,266   2,889  48%    12,875  14,875  -13%  
1 Group production and sold ounces consolidate 100% of Tulawaka's production
base. Attributable production and sold ounces reflect equity ounces which
exclude 30% of Tulawaka's production base. 
2 Cash cost and average realised gold price per ounce sold are non-IFRS
financial performance measures with no standard meaning under IFRS. Refer to
"Non-IFRS measures" on page 8 for each definition. 
Commenting on the results, CEO Greg Hawkins said: "We are pleased to deliver a
significant step up in production in the fourth quarter in line with our
expectations. The performance of Buzwagi is particularly satisfying and our
focus is now on maintaining the improvement in virtually all of its operating
metrics. North Mara delivered the expected increase in production as we
accessed additional higher grade material. Bulyanhulu was below plan over the
quarter and we are addressing the issues. Beyond the production figures, over
the last twelve months we have made considerable progress in strengthening the
business through the renewal of mining licences and signing of the village
benefit implementation agreements at North Mara, and the acquisition of
exciting early stage exploration licences in Kenya. With the performance in
2012 as the base going into 2013, we are undertaking a full Operational Review
to ensure the business has the optimum production and cost profile for the
operating environment we are in, so that we can drive returns and free cash
flow generation." 
For further information, please visit our website:
or contact: 
African Barrick Gold plc +44 207 129 7150 
Greg Hawkins, CEO 
Andrew Wray, Head of Corporate Development & Investor Relations 
Giles Blackham, Investor Relations Manager 
RLM Finsbury +44 207 251 3801 
Faeth Birch 
Charles Chichester 
About ABG 
ABG is Tanzania's largest gold producer and one of the five largest gold
producers in Africa. We have four producing mines, all located in North West
Tanzania, and several exploration projects at various stages of development. We
have a high-quality asset base, solid growth opportunities and a clear
We aim to achieve this by: 
* driving operating efficiencies to optimise production from our existing 

    asset base;
      * growing through near mine expansion and development of advanced-stage
    projects; and
      * organic greenfield growth and acquisitions in Africa.

Maintaining our licence to operate through acting responsibly in relation to
our people, the environment and the communities in which we operate is central
to achieving our objectives. 
ABG is a UK public company with its headquarters in London. We are listed on
the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange under the symbol ABG and have a
secondary listing on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange. Historically and prior
to our initial public offering (IPO), our operations comprised the Tanzanian
gold mining business of Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick), our majority
shareholder. ABG reports in US dollars in accordance with IFRS as adopted by
the European Union, unless otherwise stated in this announcement. 
Conference call 
A conference call will be held for analysts and investors on 17 January 2013 at
09.00 London time. A dial in facility will be available as follows: 
Participant dial in:                      +44 (0) 203 003 2666 / +1 866 966
Password:                                 ABG 
There will be a replay facility available until 24 January 2013. Access details
are as follows: 
Replay number:                         +44 (0) 208 196 1998 
Replay PIN:                               4867535# 
This report includes "forward-looking statements" that express or imply
expectations of future events or results. Forward-looking statements are
statements that are not historical facts. These statements include, without
limitation, financial projections and estimates and their underlying
assumptions, statements regarding plans, objectives and expectations with
respect to future production, operations, costs, products and services, and
statements regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are
generally identified by the words "plans," "expects," "anticipates,"
"believes," "intends," "estimates" and other similar expressions. 
All forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and
other factors, many of which are beyond the control of ABG, which could cause
actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in,
or implied by, the forward-looking statements contained in this report. Factors
that could cause or contribute to differences between the actual results,
performance and achievements of ABG include, but are not limited to, changes or
developments in political, economic or business conditions or national or local
legislation in countries in which ABG conducts or may in the future conduct
business, industry trends, competition, fluctuations in the spot and forward
price of gold or certain other commodity prices, changes in regulation,
currency fluctuations (including the US dollar, South African rand, Kenyan
shilling and Tanzanian shilling exchange rates), ABG's ability to successfully
integrate acquisitions, ABG's ability to recover its reserves or develop new
reserves, including its ability to convert its resources into reserves and its
mineral potential into resources or reserves, and to process its mineral
reserves successfully and in a timely manner, risk of trespass, theft and
vandalism, changes in its business strategy, as well as risks and hazards
associated with the business of mineral exploration, development, mining and
production. Although ABG's management believes that the expectations reflected
in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, ABG cannot give assurances
that such statements will prove to be correct. Accordingly, investors should
not place reliance on forward looking statements contained in this report. Any
forward-looking statements in this report only reflect information available at
the time of preparation. Subject to the requirements of the Disclosure and
Transparency Rules and the Listing Rules or applicable law, ABG explicitly
disclaims any obligation or undertaking publicly to update or revise any
forward-looking statements in this report, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise. Nothing in this report should be
construed as a profit forecast or estimate and no statement made should be
interpreted to mean that ABG's profits or earnings per share for any future
period will necessarily match or exceed the historical published profits or
earnings per share of ABG. 
Operating update for the three months ended 31 December 2012 
Attributable gold production for the quarter totalled 180,684 ounces, a 22%
increase on the third quarter and a 13% increase on the corresponding quarter
of 2011. Increased production was primarily driven by improved plant
performance at Buzwagi together with increased grade at North Mara and Buzwagi,
which was in part offset by lower ounces produced from Bulyanhulu and Tulawaka. 
The improved performance at Buzwagi was evident in both the continuing step up
in mining activities, with 27% more tonnes mined compared to the prior year
period, and also the impact of a range of operational improvement initiatives
in the process plant. This resulted in a 65% increase in tonnes milled versus
the prior year period, as well as a 20% improvement on the previous quarter.
During the quarter the process plant averaged close to its nameplate capacity
of 12,000 tonnes per day. This was also accompanied by further improvements in
recoveries, which averaged over 90%. 
At North Mara, as expected given the significant waste stripping focus earlier
in the year, mining increased from the higher grade zones in the Gokona pit
which saw an increase in ore tonnes mined. Bulyanhulu continued to see the
impact of lower than planned paste fill delivery, which limited access to
higher grade stopes, as well as staffing shortages caused by resignations owing
to potential Tanzanian pension regulation changes. Tulawaka continued to see
lower production compared to the previous year as a result of the batch milling
campaign following the exhaustion of surface stockpiles earlier in 2012. 
Gold ounces sold for the quarter were 159,585 which was in line with the
corresponding quarter of 2011. Gold ounces sold were 12% lower than gold
produced as a result of production being weighted towards the back end of the
quarter. These ounces will be sold during January 2013. Tonnes mined for the
quarter were 13.9 million compared to 10.5 million in the corresponding quarter
of 2011. The increase was primarily driven by increased tonnes at Buzwagi and
North Mara. The increase at Buzwagi was driven by improved equipment
availabilities whilst North Mara continued to focus on waste stripping and also
benefitted from lower illegal mining intrusions. 
Tonnes processed in the fourth quarter of 2.1 million tonnes were 20% higher
than the corresponding quarter of 2011. The increase was due to the plant
operating efficiency improvements at Buzwagi. 
The average grade processed for the quarter was 3.0 grams per tonne which was
9% lower than the prior year period. The decrease in grade was predominantly
due to Bulyanhulu and Tulawaka and was in part offset by increased grade at
North Mara. 
Copper production for the quarter was 4.3 million pounds, 48% higher than the
prior year period, mainly driven by the increase in throughput and copper
grades at Buzwagi when compared to Q4 2011. 
For the full year, production of 626,212 ounces represented a 9% decline on the
prior year period. Gold sales for the full year were below production at
609,252 ounces due to the back-ended nature of the production in the quarter.
The net cash position as at 31 December 2012 amounted to approximately US$400
The average realised gold price amounted to US$1,700 per ounce for the fourth
quarter while it averaged US$1,668 per ounce for the full year. These
represented increases of 3% and 5% respectively, compared to the prior year
It is with great regret that we report an underground incident in December at
Tulawaka that claimed the life of one of our underground employees. We are in
the process of carrying out a thorough investigation into the incident and will
take the appropriate actions to prevent such incidents in the future. 
Exploration and Development Update 
During the quarter ABG completed the acquisition of Aviva Mining (Kenya) Ltd
("AMKL") from Aviva Corporation. The completion of the deal brings
approximately 2,800 square kilometres of exploration ground and more than 20
existing targets from grassroots through to the drill testing stage into the
exploration and development pipeline. ABG expects to complete a comprehensive
initial exploration programme during 2013 to further develop the high quality
portfolio of targets at all stages of the pipeline, advancing the most
promising targets as a priority. 
Exploration and development programmes during the fourth quarter of the year
continued to be successful, especially at our North Mara and Bulyanhulu
projects in Tanzania where drilling continued to deliver positive results, and
at the Ramula prospect in Kenya, where multiple zones of higher-grade
mineralisation have been encountered in the limited drilling to date. 
Bulyanhulu Carbon in Leach ("CIL") Circuit Expansion 
The CIL expansion has been progressing according to plan, with commissioning on
track for 2014. An EPC contract has now been signed with MDM Engineering in
order to manage the project. Detailed engineering design is now at 85%
completion, with all major equipment procured and contractors commencing the
fabrication of the structural steel and plate work. The earthworks contractor
has mobilised to site and is in the process of setting up a construction camp.
All approvals for the construction of the CIL expansion have been granted, and
the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the life of mine tailings
storage facility has been submitted to the Tanzanian Government. Project
financing discussions are close to completion for the provision of an export
credit facility. 
Bulyanhulu Upper East 
The feasibility study for the combined mining of Reef 1 and Reef 2 is on track
for completion at the end of Q1 2013, as previously communicated, and the aim
is to present the project to the ABG Board for final approval in early Q2 2013.
Development equipment has been procured and is expected to arrive on site at
the end of the second quarter and tenders for the contract mining appointment
are underway in order to meet that timeline. 
In tandem with the feasibility work, infill drilling of Reef 2 and extension
diamond core drilling on the Upper East part of the ore body was completed
during the quarter with 1,439 metres drilled in the quarter. Results received
to date from the drilling are in line with the grades and widths historically
encountered in this area of the Reef 2 resource with selected results
* BGMRCDD0020: 0.84m at 15.6g/t Au from 223m 

      * BGMRCDD0037: 5.96m at 10.7g/t from 458m
      * BGMRCDD0038: 4.3m at 11.6g/t Au from 394m (including 1.0m at 40.0g/t Au)
    from 396m
      * BGMRCDD0042: 1.3m at 13.6g/t Au from 286m
      * BGMRCDD0049: 1.0m at 29.5g/t Au from 211m

The current phase of drilling on the Reef 2 Upper East resource area is now
complete and a revised resource/reserve estimate is underway to determine the
impact of the recent drilling, and to investigate areas requiring additional
phases of drilling to further increase resources in this area. 
North Mara - Gokona Underground 
The first phase of a significant resource drill-out programme beneath the
planned Gokona and Nyabigena open pits was completed during H1 2012. A revised
underground resource incorporating the drilling results will be released with
our preliminary results in mid-February. Based on the positive results from
exploration and infill drilling which show the system remains open and robust
in terms of grade at depth, it is anticipated further deep drilling is
warranted and could expand the underground resources in the future. 
The trade-off analysis to determine the optimal way of integrating the
underground and surface resources at Gokona in order to maximise the life of
mine return at North Mara remains ongoing. This process is expected to be
complete within the first quarter of 2013 at which point the existing
feasibility study will be updated. 
North Mara - Nyabirama Resource Definition and Nyabirama West Extension
The Nyabirama programme is aimed at defining underground potential from areas
previously not able to be drilled from the open pit or during early exploration
drilling, and testing for extensions of mineralisation to the west of the
current open pit. The programme was completed in Q4 2012 with a total of 7,526
metres drilled in the quarter. 
Assay results received during the quarter continued to confirm the current
resource interpretation, intersecting multiple high-grade gold zones within a
broader 1 gram per tonne of gold mineralised envelope, with selected better
results including: 
* NBRD032W1: 5m at 8.3g/t Au from 358m and 2m at 7.17g/t Au from 380m 

      * NBD096: 2m at 11.8g/t Au from 200m, and
      * NBD098: 6m at 10.8g/t Au from 256m

The 2012 drilling results will now be incorporated into an updated resource
model for open pit and underground scenarios. 
In Q4 2012, the focus at Nyanzaga was on advancing the pre-feasibility study.
The study is progressing well and expected to be completed by the end of Q1
2013, at which point a decision will be made on whether to move into a full
feasibility study. The main focus areas of the pre-feasibility study are the
optimisation of operating and capital costs during the early part of the life
of mine. 
During Q4 2012, exploration activities focused on commencing a full assessment
of historical data through from regional geochemical surveys to more advanced
drilling. ABG plans to complete an extensive review of all targets over the
coming six months in order to prioritise and rank the best targets on the
project, while at the same time completing regional mapping programmes,
geochemical and geophysical surveys, and reconnaissance drilling to identify
further new targets. In parallel with this, we plan to continue diamond core
drilling of high potential targets and known gold prospects in order to move
targets up our exploration pipeline towards resource development. 
At the Ramula prospect, which is located in the central part of the West Kenya
JV Project, we are targeting a gold in soil anomaly associated with a magnetic
anomaly in the aeromagnetics. Drilling intersected a large anomalous gold zone
with narrower high-grade zones associated stacked quartz veins containing
visible gold. Mineralisation identified to date occurs associated with
silica-sericite-pyrite altered magnetic granodiorite intrusion. All results for
the ANRDD001 to ANRDD003 diamond core drill programme have now been received,
with the best results encountered in hole ANRDD003 including: 
* 3.2m at 3.0g/t Au from 44m 

      * 3.3m at 12.5g/t Au from 53m
      * 8.5m at 4.6g/t Au from 178m
      * 4.7m at 7.4g/t Au, and
      * 4.1m at 10.4g/t Au from 252m

The diamond core rig returned to Ramula in early December to commence a
fourteen hole diamond core programme that will scope out the continuity and
size of the mineralised system. A second drill rig capable of deeper diamond
core drilling is also currently being mobilised to site in order scope out the
depth potential for additional mineralised veins at depths below 200 metres
vertical. Of note is the fact that the density and width of quartz veins
appeared to be increasing with depth. 
Post Period Events 
ABG announced on the 8 January 2013 that Barrick had ended discussions with CNG
over the potential sale of its 73.9% stake in ABG. As a result, ABG is no
longer in an offer period under the Takeover Code. 
As previously announced, management has initiated a full Operational Review
with the aim of recalibrating operations so as to drive improved returns from
the asset base whilst enhancing the certainty of delivery. We will provide
further detail on specific initiatives at the time of the preliminary results
in mid-February with regular updates thereafter. 
African Barrick Gold Report for the Fourth Quarter ended 31 December 2012 
-0- Jan/17/2013 07:00 GMT
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