UPDATE 2-Kinross mulls more job cuts at Mauritania mine to reduce costs

Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:48pm EDT
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(Rewrites throughout after CEO interview)

July 29 (Reuters) - Kinross Gold Corp is again considering cutting jobs at its Tasiast gold mine in Mauritania, Chief Executive Officer Paul Rollinson said on Wednesday, as the Canadian miner looks for ways to reduce costs at its higher-cost mines amid sliding metals prices.

Kinross was in talks with the Mauritanian government on the "possibility of a head count reduction," Rollinson said in an interview. He declined to discuss how many jobs could be lost.

Kinross in 2013 laid off about 300 workers at Tasiast to cut costs. Tasiast has 1,350 employees.

High costs have dogged Tasiast since its purchase as part of Kinross' $7.1 billion takeover of Australia's Red Back Mining in 2010.

The Toronto-based company was also studying if production costs at Tasiast, which rose 4 percent to $1,063 an ounce in the second-quarter, could be reduced by increasing the mine mill's efficiency, Rollinson said.

Tasiast's production costs are skating close to the gold price, which was last at $1,096 an ounce, squeezing margins.

If Kinross cannot achieve the margins and cash flow it wants from its mines it would consider shutting them down as it did with its La Coipa mine in Chile, Rollinson said. Such a move would not be taken lightly, however.

"We will turn over all stones before we get to that decision," he said.   Continued...