Mark Cutifani,
CEO,
AngloGold Ashanti
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 19 March 2009 – AngloGold Ashanti Limited – the world’s third-largest producer of the metal – may consider a change of name, now that mining giant Anglo American Plc has sold its remaining stake in the company.

“It’s clearly something we should be considering,” CEO Mark Cutifani said here in an interview with Bloomberg News.

“While the AngloGold name is a good brand, a significant deal or event may offer an opportune time to change the name,” Cutifani reasoned. “It’s not our first priority,” he added.

Anglo American reduced its stake in AngloGold in line with a 2005 plan to exit gold and produce more industrial metals, and announced yesterday that it had sold its remaining 11.3% stake to New York-based investment firm Paulson & Co. for US$1.28 billion (R13 billion). Paulson sees AngloGold as “one of the best managed and undervalued of the major global gold-mining companies,” the American company said.

“Paulson likes what we’ve been doing,” Cutifani said, citing reductions in forward sales and safety improvements. “The U.S. investment company wants to be an interested shareholder, while not being involved in the management of the company,” he added.

Under Cutifani’s leadership, which started in 2007, AngloGold has reduced fatalities and increased the company’s exposure to spot gold prices by reducing contractual commitments to sell the metal forward at fixed prices.

“Next year will be an extremely strong year for the gold industry,” Cutifani predicted, adding that he sees gold trading at about US$900 to US$1 000 an ounce this year, and increasing beyond that “at some point.”

“South African investment fund Allan Gray Limited is AngloGold’s biggest shareholder, with a stake of about 12%,”Cutifani revealed.