JOHANNESBURG – AngloGold Ashanti continued taking clear steps under CEO Alberto Calderon to ensure delivery on its strategic objectives, with an improved second-half performance complemented by changes to its leadership team and implementation of a new Operating Model.
The recovery from a difficult first half of 2021 continued, with a 12% step-up in production from operating assets in the second half of the year versus the first half. Cash costs fell 8% over that period.
The Company continued to show exploration success, with the addition of 2.7Moz of new Ore Reserve in 2021, more than replacing depletion. A 3.4Moz new Mineral Resource was added at the Silicon project in the US, and the Obuasi mine in Ghana resumed production in January 2022 as planned. Free cash flow for the year was $104m, more than reversing a first half outflow.
The new Operating Model is now being implemented, simplifying the organisational structure, eliminating duplication, and ensuring the operating sites are properly resourced to safely deliver planned production. This restructuring resulted in the reduction of functional support roles at mid- and senior management level across the global business, from 526 to 311, for an estimated annualised saving of $40m.
“This new operating model brings a profound change to the business; it sharpens our focus on safe, consistent delivery, reduces wasteful effort and spending, and ensures clear, single-point accountability for meeting our commitments,” Mr. Calderon said. “These are all essential elements for us to start closing the value gap with our peers.”
The Company continued to reinforce its leadership team. In addition to Mr. Calderon’s appointment in September, three key external appointments have been made in recent months adding significant experience in transformation, talent management, business improvement and mine planning, to a seasoned group of existing executives.
Terry Briggs, a 30-year veteran of the industry and currently Vice President: Planning at Newmont, has been appointed Chief Development Officer, with oversight of planning, exploration and business development; Lisa Ali, joins on 1 April 2022 as Chief People Officer after a long career with senior leadership roles at BP and most recently Newcrest; and Marcelo Godoy was appointed in November 2021 as Chief Technology Officer from a senior leadership role at Newmont, where he served for nine years and latterly headed up exploration.
- Ore Reserve increased 2.7Moz pre-depletion, for a total of 8.7Moz pre-depletion added over the last two years
- In Nevada, maiden Mineral Resource at Silicon totalling 3.4Moz; Corvus acquisition successfully completed on 18 January 2022
- Inaugural Climate Change Report published; Absolute carbon emissions in 2021 declined by 41% to 1.39Mt compared to 2.34Mt in 2020; GHG emissions reduced 69% since 2008
- Improved balance sheet flexibility with new $750m, 7-year bond at a record low coupon for AGA of 3.375% per annum
- New Operating Model design completed to eliminate inefficiencies, improve performance and ensure accountability;
- Implementation of the new Operating Model ongoing
- Fatality-free second half of 2021; All-injury frequency rate of 2.13 injuries per million hours worked in 2021
- Achieved revised production and capital guidance; cost guidance achieved when adjusting for impacts of COVID-19
- Production of 2.472Moz for 2021; with 12% increase in production from operating assets (excluding Obuasi) from 1,115koz in H1 2021 to 1,249koz in H2 2021
- Basic earnings decreased from $946m in 2020 to $622m in 2021, after once-off expenses amounting to $87m
- Total cash costs of $963/oz for 2021; total cash costs down 8% from $1,003/oz in H1 2021 to $925/oz in H2 2021
- All-in sustaining costs (“AISC”) of $1,355/oz for 2021, reflecting higher sustaining capital expenditures on reinvestment programme and Brazilian tailings storage facilities (“TSFs”)
- Net cash inflow from operating activities decreased by 18% to $1,268m in 2021 from $1,545m in 2020
- Free cash flow of $104m in 2021, a transitional year with significant portfolio reinvestment, COVID-19 impact and voluntary suspension of mining at Obuasi
- Obuasi restarted and tracking ramp-up plan; Phase 2 construction complete, Phase 3 in progress
- Adjusted net debt of $765m at end 2021; Adjusted net debt to Adjusted EBITDA ratio of 0.42 times