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5

Canadian Barrick Eyes Russian Gold

Extracting gold in Russia should cost less than $200 an ounce...

Canadian firm Barrick Gold Corp., the world's third-biggest gold producer, plans to get as much as a fifth of its output from Russia and Central Asia by 2010 to reduce costs, Bloomberg reported.

Toronto-based Barrick expects to be extracting between 15 and 20 percent of its gold in the region by then, Chief Executive Greg Wilkins said today in Moscow. The company doesn't produce gold in Russia now.

Extracting gold in Russia should cost less than $200 an ounce, compared with Barrick's current average of $220 to $230 an ounce, Wilkins said. The Toronto-based company expects the international gold price to be in the ?mid-$400s'' an ounce for the next two to three years.

?We have no direct production in Russia now, but there are significant opportunities here and the supply and demand fundamentals of gold are favorable,''
Wilkins said in an interview at the opening of Barrick's new Moscow office.
Barrick also wants to increase its 10 percent stake in Celtic Resources Holdings Plc, a

Dublin-based company that plans to develop gold assets in Kazakhstan and the northeastern Siberian region of Yakutia.
Barrick and Celtic will develop the Nezhdaninskoye deposit in Yakutia, with Celtic owning the operating company.