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BARRICK TO REDUCE WORKFORCE IN NEVADA, UTAH

RENO (AP) — The world’s largest gold mining company has announced plans to reduce its workforce by 55 positions in Nevada and Utah through voluntary severance packages to certain employees.

Barrick Gold Corp. spokesman Lou Schack says the move is being prompted by falling gold prices, rising project construction costs and a depressed share price.

Plans call for the Toronto-based company to slash about 40 positions in Nevada, 15 in Salt Lake City and five to 10 elsewhere in the region.

Schack says the action affects several groups of support function employees, including administrative, human resources and purchasing workers.

Affected employees have been given time to review the severance offers and make decisions. Schack says the offers are “generous’’ and include a payment based on years of service and base pay.

As of this week, the gold price has fallen $600 — over 30 percent — since late 2011.

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