AngloGold Ashanti resumes gold exports after paying $10m to Guinea government

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., the world’s third-biggest gold producer has resumed the export of gold from its Siguiri mine in Guinea following talks and after making a $10 million part payment for an environmental fund.

In a press release issued in Johannesburg and copied to, AngloGold Ashanti said a temporary embargo on the export of gold has been lifted at the end of June following “good progress in discussions with the government of Guinea in recent weeks.”

The lift it says would allow a month’s worth of production to be shipped from the country during the first week of July.

Since Moussa Dadis Camara led a faction of Guinea’s military to seize power on December 23, 2008, a day after the death of President Lansana Conte, who ruled the country for more than two decades, the military regime has had confrontations with industry, particularly, the mining industry in Guinea.

Soon after Camara took over power he ordered the Siguiri mine closed. But after a series of meetings between the authorities and AngloGold Ashanti officials, it was reopened for business.

According to AngloGold Ashanti the ongoing talks with the Government of Guinea centre on the nature and protocols of an environmental fund related to AngloGold Ashanti’s existing US$35 million provision for environmental rehabilitation of the Siguiri mine.

The company has therefore, agreed to the advanced payment of US$10 million to the government of its existing provision, subject to an undertaking from the government that the funds be used solely for the environmental rehabilitation of the Siguiri mine and that the payment be offset against the balance of AngloGold Ashanti’s future environmental liabilities.

Siguiri produced 333,000 ounces of gold in the course of 2008 and 88,000 ounces in the first quarter of 2009, approximately 7% of group production. The government of Guinea is a 15% shareholder in the operation, it added.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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