The AngloGold Ashanti’s Africa region produced 348,000oz at a total cash cost of $858/oz for the quarter ended 30 September 2021, compared to 411,000oz at a total cash cost of $717/oz for the quarter ended 30 September 2020. The region’s AISC was $1,119/oz for the quarter ended 30 September 2021, compared to $903/oz for the same period last year.
In Ghana, Iduapriem’s production was 48,000oz at a total cash cost of $1,031/oz for the quarter ended 30 September 2021, compared to 69,000oz at a total cash cost of $646/oz in the same period last year. Production was impacted by lower grades from the depletion of ore in Cut 1 and delayed waste stripping at Cut 2 of the Teberebie pit.
The higher total cash costs were partly offset by a significant amount of waste stripping capitalised at Teberebie Cut 2 in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in the prior year, together with a decrease in royalties due to a lower gold price received and lower volumes sold.
At Obuasi, underground mining activities were suspended between 18 May 2021 and 15 October 2021 following a fatal incident in the second quarter of 2021. Obuasi produced 13,000oz during the quarter ended 30 September 2021, compared to a production of 47,000oz in the same period last year. Production for the quarter focused on residue material from Pond 2 sediment and Boete tailings clean-ups.
Phase 3 of the redevelopment project, to refurbish existing infrastructure around the KMS Shaft as well as to service the mine in deeper production areas, has progressed during the third quarter of 2021 and will continue as planned through to the end of 2023.
In Tanzania, Geita produced 126,000oz at a total cash cost of $764/oz for the quarter ended 30 September 2021, compared to 152,000oz at a total cash cost of $628/oz in the same period last year. The lower production, year-on-year was due to lower grade ore from Nyankanga and Geita Hill open pit stockpiles being included with the underground ore in feed blend to the plant, resulting in an overall reduction in grade recovered in the current year.
The majority of ore production during this quarter was from the Star & Comet and Nyankanga underground operations. The new Nyamulilima open pit delivered first ore to the processing plant during the third quarter of 2021, a milestone achieved three months ahead of plan.
Ore supplied from Nyamulilima is expected to increase during the fourth quarter of the year and is expected to contribute around 50% of Geita’s gold production by the end of 2022. Nyamulilima together with Star & Comet, Nyankanga underground operations, and the new Geita Hill underground operation which is planned to be commissioned in 2022, are expected to result in Geita being able to generate an annual production of 500,000oz from 2022 onwards.
Total cash costs increased mainly due to lower grades, together with the depletion of ore stockpiles in the current year compared to an increase in ore stockpiles during the same period last year. These movements were partly offset by lower royalty costs and improved efficiencies in that more open pit tonnes were mined in the third quarter of 2021 at a lower rate per tonne than that of the same period in the prior year.
In the Republic of Guinea, production improved with Siguiri delivering 67,000oz at a total cash cost of $1,181/oz for the quarter ended 30 September 2021, compared to 52,000oz at a total cash cost of $1,197/oz in the same period last year. The increase in production is due to a lower stripping ratio and a 24% improvement in recovered grade which is attributable to improved plant recoveries as a result of CIL conversion in the last quarter of 2020.
Higher operating costs, due to price increases particularly in fuel and reagents, planned component replacement of mining contractor equipment, metal inventory movements, and higher royalties from additional volume sold in the third quarter of 2021, were more than offset by higher grades and additional volumes produced resulting in total cash costs closing lower year-on-year.
In the DRC, Kibali produced 94,000oz at a total cash cost of $613/oz for the quarter ended 30 September 2021, compared to 91,000oz at a total cash cost of $651/oz in the same period last year. The mine delivered a good overall performance from the metallurgical plant, with increased tonnage, grade, and recovery over the third quarter of 2021, driven by higher open pit tonnes mined and higher grades from underground, as compared to the same period in the prior year.
Total cash costs decreased as a result of higher production, higher waste stripping cost capitalised in the current year, and lower royalties due to a decrease in the gold price, as compared to the same period in the prior year.