AngloGold Ashanti, Africa’s largest gold producer and the third largest gold producer in the world reported in a press release issued on Friday July 31, 2009 and copied to ghanabusinessnews.com that its adjusted headline earnings increased to $167m, or US47 cents a share in the three months to 30 June, compared with $150m, or US42 cents, in the previous quarter.
This record earnings, the company said was achieved after improved performances from its Tanzanian and Ghanaian regions helped boost production.
“We saw a strong operating performance across most of the operations and a nice sweetener from our received gold price,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani said.
“We’re seeing the results of our interventions in the continued improvements at Obuasi and the early signs of a recovery at Geita are also very encouraging for us.”
AngloGold Ashanti’s production during the period rose to 1.127Moz at a total cash cost of $472/oz, from 1.103Moz at $445/oz in the prior quarter. Higher production and lower costs were realised in South America and in Africa, outside of South Africa, it added.
According to the press release, the company has appointed new management this year to oversee its operations in Ghana and Tanzania, part of its strategy to ensure appropriate skills at each level in the organization.
The release said, Obuasi in Ghana reported a 10% rise in production to 101,000 ounces and a 16% drop in cash costs to $589/oz, while Geita in Tanzania posted a 43% increase in production to 63,000 ounces and a 14% decline in costs.
The company’s West Wits operations in South Africa raised production by 7%, despite the large number of public holidays around Easter and the general election. The Vaal River operations, however, reported a 15% decline in output and a commensurate increase in costs, largely due to safety-related stoppages.
Eight miners of AngloGold Ashanti tragically lost their lives across the company’s operations during the quarter.
According to the company’s management, this safety performance is a matter for concern and it has intensified efforts to improve overall safety across its operations.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi