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Gold company shares fall on Barrick news

The Associated Press

Shares of gold mining companies fell Friday on concerns that market conditions are worsening after Barrick Gold Corp. said that it is suspending work at one mine and announced plans for a $3 billion stock sale to repay debt.

Barrick's plans appear to have investors concerned that other gold miners will have to start raising money given recent weak metal prices.

Barrick said Thursday that it suspended construction work on its Pascua-Lama mine on the border of Chile and Argentina. The company said the project may resume if the outlook for metal prices improves. The suspension will cut Barrick's capital spending by $1 billion next year. Barrick also announced that it was selling 163.5 million shares at $18.35 each. It is also giving the underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to 24.5 million more shares.

Another gold company, Newmont Mining Corp., said Thursday that its quarterly revenue fell 20 percent, coming in just shy of market expectations.

Gold prices have been on the decline for some time and took another dip this week as the dollar rose and traders anticipated that the Federal Reserve may reduce its economic stimulus sooner than some had expected. Gold is down more than 20 percent so far this year and is on track to have its first annual loss since 2000.

Here's a look at how some company stocks were faring as of late afternoon Friday:

—Barrick Gold, down $1.46, more than 7 percent, to $17.93. Its shares are down nearly 50 percent so far this year.

—Newmont Mining, down $1.30, nearly 5 percent, to $25.96. Its shares are down more than 40 percent for the year.

—Goldcorp Inc., down $1.09, more than 4 percent, to $24.34. Its shares are down nearly 34 percent for the year.

—Yamana Gold Inc., down 58 cents, nearly 6 percent, to $9.35. Its shares are down 46 percent for the year.

—Kinross Gold Corp.: down 31 cents, 6 percent, to $4.76. Its shares are down 50 percent for the year.