AngloGold Ashanti today reinstated annual guidance given improved operating certainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in anticipation of the conclusion of the sale of its South African assets at the end of this month.
On 14 September 2020, it was announced that all conditions precedent have been met with respect to the sale of its remaining mines in South Africa to Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited.
Consequently, the transaction is scheduled to close in accordance with the transaction agreement on 30 September 2020, upon which Harmony will assume full ownership and operation of all assets and liabilities that form part of the transaction.
“We’re pleased to reintroduce guidance, which reflects our greater certainty in relation to full year operating performance,” said Christine Ramon, AngloGold Ashanti’s interim Chief Executive Officer. “Our operators have done an outstanding job managing through this period – limiting the impact of COVID-19 on production and costs, while prioritising the health of our employees and host communities.”
Annual guidance on financial and operating metrics was withdrawn on 27 March 2020 as the pandemic accelerated and many governments responded by restricting travel, closing borders and ordering some businesses to cease or limit operations.
The Cerro Vanguardia mine in Argentina, Serra Grande in Brazil and all South African operations were ordered to close for varying periods, while border closures slowed down the Obuasi Redevelopment Project.
All subsequently returned to full production, whilst the completion date for the Obuasi project was moved out by three months to the end of the first quarter next year and it remains on track to meet that schedule.
The Company benefited from its diversified global portfolio and careful management during the intervening period, with the impact in the first half of the year limited to 85,000oz – or approximately 3% of production – and $53/oz, or approximately 5% of the all-in sustaining cost during the period.
Most of this impact was related to the South African assets, where the Mponeng mine was ordered to close from 26 March 2020 and only resumed production on 4 May 2020, after which it was initially allowed to ramp up to just 50% of capacity. The mine was closed again on 24 May 2020 until 1 June 2020.
Updated 2020 Group Guidance (including contribution from SA assets to end of September 2020)
- Production 3,030,000 – 3,100000oz *#
- All-in sustaining costs 1,060 – 1,120 $/oz
- Total capital expenditure $890 – 950m
- Sustaining capital expenditure $610m – 650m
- Non-sustaining capital expenditure $280 – 300m
* South African assets are expected to have produced approximately 240,000oz in the nine months to 30 September 2020, at an AISC of approximately $1,300/oz.
# Production includes pre-production ounces from Obuasi.
All-in sustaining costs and capital expenditure assume three months of commercial production from Obuasi relating to Phase 1 of the Redevelopment Project.