UPDATE 2-African Barrick eyes more cost cuts as impairment hits H1

Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:45am EDT
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* H1 net loss of $701.2 mln vs $73.7 mln in last year period

* Hit by $727 mln charge after gold price plunge, review of mines

* Says cost review identifies $185 mln of savings

* Shares down 2.9 pct

By Clara Ferreira-Marques and Sarah Young

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - Miner African Barrick Gold , battling a plunge in the price of bullion, identified more cost cuts to help engineer a turnaround after sinking to a first-half loss on the back of a $727 million impairment charge.

African Barrick was under pressure even before a gold price rout began in April, hit by illegal mining, power generation problems and strikes, issues which forced it to warn in February that output would shrink for a fifth straight year.

The company on Tuesday posted a first half net loss of $701.2 million, against a profit for the year-ago period of $73.7 million, after a lower gold price and a review of its lower grade mines forced it to take the $727 million charge.

On a quarterly-basis, however, it beat consensus on a production and cost basis, helped by actions taken as part of a review.   Continued...