Kinross to cut 300 jobs in Mauritania gold operations and Spain

Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:10pm EDT
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NOUAKCHOTT Oct 10 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Kinross Gold Corp plans to cut 300 jobs at its mining operations in Mauritania and at a regional administrative office in Spain, the company said in a statement on Thursday, citing the decline in the price of gold.

Spot gold has fallen sharply this year, from above $1,600 an ounce to a near 3-year low of about $1,180 in late June. The precious metal was trading at about $1,296 by 1900 GMT on Thursday.

Kinross said it has carried out a broad review of its costs in order to solve the problems posed by the price drop.

"The company today announced downsizing in Mauritania and the regional office in Las Palmas (Spain). These cuts will affect about 300 employees in Tasiast, our administrative offices in Nouakchott and Las Palmas," the statement said.

The company did not say how the job cuts be split between the Tasiast mine and the two administrative offices. It said it would still have about 3,000 employees and sub-contractors working at the mine after the cuts.

Gold miners have announced billions in writedowns over the last two years, as ill-advised deals, underperforming assets and the plunging gold price have wreaked havoc on their books.

Kinross said in July it would defer to 2015 a decision on the expansion of the Tasiast mine after it took a big non-cash charge linked to the fall in gold price and suspended its semi-annual dividend.