UPDATE 3-Newmont Mining CEO to depart, COO to succeed him

Mon Dec 3, 2012 4:23pm EST
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* Current COO Gary Goldberg named new chief executive

* Newmont vexed by falling gold output, rising costs

* Two other top gold miners replaced CEOs this year

* Newmont shares fall almost 3 pct, other miners drop too

By Julie Gordon and Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay

Dec 3 (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp on Monday said Chief Executive Richard O'Brien will step down, making it the third major gold miner this year to replace its top manager as the industry seeks to boost dwindling production and control mushrooming costs.

O'Brien, 58, will step down on March 1 as head of the world's No. 2 gold producer and also will retire from the board. Chief Operating Officer and President Gary Goldberg will take the reins.

Goldberg, 53, joined Newmont in December 2011. He will face the task of reviving Newmont, where annual gold sales are down about 15 percent since 2006 as it has struggled with rising costs and falling output.

"They have no growth and over the last five years production has actually fallen," said George Topping, a mining analyst with Stifel Nicolaus in Toronto, adding that Goldberg will need to address operational issues at Newmont's existing mines.   Continued...