UPDATE 2-Barrick to lay off 30 percent of its office staff

Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:10pm EDT
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* Layoffs set to begin this week

* Cuts will largely affect staff in Toronto

* Barrick shares slide further amid cuts, slump in gold

* Stock trading at a 21-year low on the TSX

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, June 24 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp will lay off about 30 percent of corporate staff at its headquarters in Toronto and in other offices in a downsizing plan triggered by problems at major mines and a drop in the price of gold.

Barrick and rival gold miners such as Newmont Mining and Newcrest Mining are shaking up operations, halting projects, slashing exploration spending and cutting jobs as the industry struggles with high costs and weak metal prices.

Barrick, the world's largest gold producer, confirmed on Monday a Reuters report that the layoffs were coming and said the cuts were part of an effort to "streamline the organization and manage costs in a challenging business environment".

Barrick said it is eliminating about 100 office positions, most of them at its home base in Toronto. The company will also cut jobs at a number of its regional offices as part of a company-wide effort.   Continued...