Steven Shoo, Plant Security Coordinator at North Mara Gold Mine (right), receives the ABG Exemplary Conduct Medal from ABG’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Marco Zolezzi. Steven was awarded for demonstrating exceptional commitment and heroic action in the line of duty when reacting to an invasion by trespassers last year on the mine’s ROM pad.

“The operations are continuing to make progress. We’ve had our challenges over the last couple of years, and it’s vitally important that we seek to deliver what we have set out to the market and to ourselves during 2012 and beyond,” said Greg Hawkins, CEO of African Barrick Gold.

“We are looking for growth … You would have heard us talk about the Nyanzaga project — the Tusker deposit — and the potential delivered by our exploration team who have worked very, very hard over the last 18 months to declare a 4-million ounce resource out there. So, a real potential fifth mine in Tanzania and something that can really grow the business over the next few years.”

ABG acquired Tusker Gold in May 2010, giving the company 100 percent control of the Nyanzaga project.

Hawkins, speaking at the Barrick Excellence Awards ceremony at Buzwagi mine this week, reaffirmed ABG’s commitment to Tanzania.

He said ABG targets increased output overall for its four gold-producing mines in Tanzania — Bulyanhulu, North Mara, Buzwagi and Tulawaka — and will look to control cash costs further.

“Cash costs are a key focus for us. Our best leverage for improving our cash cost per ounce performance is to produce more ounces and I think we’ve got some options at all the mines to be able to improve that production level and that will help us manage our cash cost per ounce.”

ABG, the largest gold producer in Tanzania with current production of close to 700,000 ounces of gold, plans to boost production to one million ounces per year by 2014.

The company, which has invested around $2 billion in its Tanzanian operations so far, currently employs 5,400 people.

Hawkins applauded ABG employees who were awarded 2011 excellence awards in various fields, including safety, security, community relations and the environment.

“I congratulate all the winners. We should all be very proud … there are not too many of these awards that are handed out across the entire organization, so you should be very proud,” he said.

“To the teams that have put in the effort and the individuals that have received awards, this is an enormous achievement.”

Some senior level officials from ABG’s parent company, Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp., attended the employee excellence award ceremony at the Buzwagi mine in Tanzania.

Barrick’s Vice-President for Safety, Health and Risk, Craig Ross, said ABG’s mines in Tanzania had made great strides in improving their health and safety performances over the past few years.

“If you look at the health and safety statistics across the board at ABG, you can see significant improvements,” he said.

“What has been done with the safety awards — recognizing people — is to see that expanded to the environmental awards, CSR (corporate social responsibility) awards and security awards. It shows the company ethos, which is all about people.”

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