In the Americas, AngloGold Ashanti production was 140,000oz at a total cash cost of $932/oz for the quarter ended 30 September 2021, compared to 181,000oz at a total cash cost of $674/oz for the same period a year ago. The region’s AISC was $1,805/oz for the quarter ended 30 September 2021, compared to $963/oz for the same period last year.
The Brazil operations produced 102,000oz at a total cash cost of $960/oz for the third quarter of 2021, compared to 134,000oz at a total cash cost of $666/oz in the same period last year. AISC was $1,945/oz for the third quarter of 2021, compared to $916/oz for the same period a year ago.
The increase was mainly due to lower production in the third quarter of 2021, an increase in sustaining capital expenditures relating to the tailings compliance programme underway as well as Ore Reserve development, inflation and a negative exchange rate impact, as the Brazilian Real appreciated against the US Dollar.
Production at AGA Mineracao was 84,000oz at a total cash cost of $869/oz for the third quarter of 2021, compared to 103,000oz at a total cash cost of $683/oz in the same period last year. The Corrego do Sitio (CdS) complex was impacted by challenges in the crushing and milling circuit and lower tonnes of ore treated.
Production was also adversely impacted by a 7-day strike by mine workers in September. At the Cuiaba complex, there was an increase in tonnes of ore treated year-on-year, which was partially offset by lower grades. Total cash costs increased mainly due to lower production and inflationary pressures. These costs were partially offset by higher by-product revenue and lower royalty costs.
At Serra Grande, production was 18,000oz at a total cash cost of $1,388/oz for the third quarter of 2021 compared to 31,000oz at a total cash cost of $610/oz in the same period last year. Production decreased year-on-year due to lower tonnage resulting from various delays in accessing mine stopes, as well as lower feed grades. Production performance for the quarter was also impacted by stabilisation challenges during the commissioning of the new filter process as work is underway towards the conversion of the TSFs to dry-stacking operations. Total cash costs increased mainly due to lower production, inflationary pressures and inefficiencies.
In Argentina, Cerro Vanguardia produced 38,000oz for the third quarter of 2021 at a total cash cost of $842/oz, compared to 47,000oz at a total cash cost of $692/oz in the same period last year. Production was down year-on-year mainly due to the effect of lower grades as per the mine plan for the current year as well as COVID-19 related limitations and restrictions that affect the mine’s ability to operate at full capacity.
Total cash costs were higher year-on-year mainly due to salary increases, additional costs relating to COVID-19 tests and other related medical costs in line with protocols set at the end of 2020 and higher materials consumption (such as fuel, explosives, and spare parts) as a result of higher tonnes mined.
The increase was partially offset by the favourable movement in the exchange rate of the Argentinean Peso against the US Dollar and higher by-product income derived from higher silver sold (partially compensated by a lower silver price year-on-year).