Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 May 2008 – Following the stabilisation of Eskom power supply to South African operations, AngloGold Ashanti achieved 2008 first quarter production of approximately 1.2 Moz – 9% higher than the previous guidance in February.
Revealing this development, a company news release issued here added that this was primarily due to the excellent work undertaken by the South African operations to mitigate the negative impact of the Eskom power situation.
Commenting on the revised outlook, CEO Mark Cutifani said “Our first quarter performance will speak to the superb job that our South African operating team – in partnership with the unions and Eskom – has done in managing through a difficult situation. We are successfully implementing a 4% energy-saving target, which will enable us to get back towards our 100% production objective, even though we are working with a reduced power supply,” he added.
AngloGold Ashanti reported adjusted headline earnings of US$105million (R800 million) for the first quarter of 2008 – significantly higher than the previous quarter, due to the improved gold price, tax credits and the absence of accounting adjustments that negatively affected earnings in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Total cash costs for the company were consequently lower at $430/oz for the quarter, significantly better than guidance of $467/oz.
In respect of 2008 production guidance, the company increased its gold production outlook to a range of 4.9Moz and 5.1Moz, up from prior guidance of 4.8Moz to 5.0Moz. Total cash costs are expected to be in a range of $440/oz to $460/oz.
The news release also pointed out that safety performance had shown a marked improvement, with the lowest-ever first quarter fatality rate achieved, and a reduction of 80% in fatality rates since the launch of the company’s ‘Safety is our first value’ campaign in November 2007.
In his comments on the quarter, CEO Mark Cutifani said, “In this quarter we delivered on our commitments across all key measures in the business. From improving production and managing costs, to reducing our hedge book and bringing to account a significant new gold discovery, I am confident that we are starting to drive value back into the business.”