AngloGold Ashanti may draw the curtain on SA

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AngloGold Ashanti may draw the curtain on SA

Published Date: 2019-05-10 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion | Comments

AngloGold Ashanti may draw the curtain on SA

The group says its remaining SA mine, Mponeng, requires further investment which could earn better returns elsewhere.

AngloGold Ashanti may sell its last remaining mine in South Africa, as well as other assets, as it shifts to investments that will generate better returns for shareholders. The gold producer says it's started a process to review its SA investments and will consider all ownership options if it decides to sell, with a view to maximising the value and future prospects of the business.

The group has significantly downscaled its SA operations over the past few years and is left with just the Mponeng underground mine, a surface rock dump processing business and Mine Waste Solutions, a mine waste retreatment operation. Although a restructuring of its SA portfolio has positioned the assets well for the future, it said Mponeng would require further investment to extend its lifespan to around eight years.

Although the group will retain its primary listing in SA for the time being, Dushnisky said it may shift it overseas in the longer term. However, the review process was at an early stage and may not ultimately result in any change to the ownership of its SA business.

Separately, the group announced it was on track to meet its annual production, cost and capital expenditure guidance. It produced 752,000 ounces of gold from its retained operations in the three months to end-March, down from 921,000 in December and lower than the 773,000 ounces it produced in the March quarter a year ago. Gross profit for the quarter declined 29% year-on-year to $165 million.

Production was affected by unfavourable performances from its Siguiri mine in Guinea, which was ramping up after completion of a new combination plant; Brazil, which was affected by regulatory stoppages; and SA, which experienced power disruptions and seismicity challenges. These were offset by strong production from its Geita, Iduapriem, Tropicana and Kibali operations.

It said it had passed a year without a fatal accident at any of its operations for the first time in its history.

Its shares fell 1.4% to R168.74 yesterday.





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