African Barrick Gold off the block

Canadian miner Barrick Gold has abandoned plans to sell its majority stake in London-listed African Barrick Gold (ABG) to a Chinese buyer.

Canadian miner Barrick Gold has abandoned plans to sell its majority stake in London-listed African Barrick Gold (ABG) to a Chinese buyer.

In August, Barrick announced it had entered into discussions with China National Gold Group Corporation to sell its 73.9% stake in ABG.

Despite the sale falling through, Barrick said it saw considerable long-term value in the ABG asset base and remained committed to supporting the firm in fully realising the potential of the business.

ABG said the discussions had meant an extended period of uncertainty for the company as well as significant extra work.

The firm is now starting a full operational review to improve financial and operational results, both of which were down in 2012 compared to the previous year.

However, the management intends to keep the total dividend for 2012 at the 2011 level of $67m.

"The board and management are committed to delivering better results and driving greater value for all our stakeholders," said the Acting Chairman of ABG, Derek Pannell.

"As a result, the board of ABG has asked management to conduct a full operational review of the business with the aim of recalibrating our operations so as to drive improved returns from the asset base whilst enhancing the certainty of delivery," he said.

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