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AngloGold production drop

AngloGold Ashanti’s
Mponeng mine
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 21 February, 2008 – AngloGold Ashanti Limited – a global gold producer with 21 operations on four continents, a substantial project pipeline and an extensive, worldwide exploration program – has shown a drop in production for its South African operations in the final quarter of 2007.

An operational guidance statement released here today says that during the fourth quarter AngloGold Ashanti’s South African operations experienced a number of planned and unplanned shutdowns due primarily to safety interventions. This resulted in the South African operations producing approximately 55 000 ounces of gold less than the prior quarter.
“However, our ‘Safety is our First Value’ campaign was introduced on 8 November 2007 – undertaken jointly with organised labour and government representatives, together with associated campaigns at each of our South African business units,” the statement explained. As a result, these operations have started to experience an encouraging improvement in safety performance.”

Looking at east African operations, production for the fourth quarter at the Geita mine in Tanzania will be 51 000 ounces below last quarter. Tonnage was adversely affected by discharge pump failures at both mills and the treatment of harder ore, according to the statement. Metallurgical recovery reduced substantially in December 2007, due to the refractive nature of ore from Geita Hill, which was suspended and replaced with lower grade material from stockpiles.
Notwithstanding solid operating performances from the company’s international operations, the impact of the fall in production in South Africa and at Geita in particular has resulted in Group production of 1.368 million ounces for the fourth quarter – a decrease of some 4% on the 1.434 million ounces produced in the third quarter.

The company points out that, as noted in published guidance released with the third quarter 2007 results, earnings for the fourth quarter 2007 are expected to be distorted significantly by, among other things, annual accounting adjustments such as rehabilitation, inventory, and current and deferred tax provisions.  

The results for the fourth quarter and year ended 31 December 2007 are due to be released on 7 February 2008.