Fuel theft leads to cut in ABG production target

African Barrick Gold cut its output target for the second time in three months yesterday, after it revealed a large-scale theft of fuel at a mine in Tanzania.

The group, which listed in London in March, said annual production would now reach 716,000 ounces, down from a previous estimate of between 750,000 and 800,000. African Barrick Gold's shares closed the day down 9.5 per cent at 564p.

The company said it discovered that a criminal syndicate had infiltrated its Buzwagi mine and was stealing fuel there. It has suspended 60 employees and contractors, about 40 per cent of the mining staff at the site.

"Despite the short-term impact on production, these actions were necessary to maintain the integrity of the operating environment at Buzwagi," the company said.

Yesterday's amended production target comes after the company was forced to revise its target down from between 800,000 and 850,000 ounces in July.