AngloGold expects spike in annual earnings

A worker pours gold at the AngloGold Ashanti mine at Obuasi, Ghana
RICH PICKINGS: A worker pours gold at the AngloGold Ashanti mine at Obuasi, Ghana

AngloGold Ashanti, the world’s third-biggest gold miner, expects its annual earnings to more than double, despite a dip in output as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

AngloGold has a lot of noise in its 2020 annual results because of its sale of its mines in SA and Mali, resulting in financials split between continued and discontinued operations.

The process of clearing the portfolio of expensive operations is complete, with the biggest sale being the $300m (R4.4bn) disposal of all its SA assets to Harmony Gold, marking the end of decades of mining in the country that gave it the platform and money to build a large international footprint.

Focusing on its continuing operation, AngloGold said it expected basic earnings for the year to end-December of $910m-$982m (R13.4bn-R14.5bn) compared to $364m (R5.3bn) a year earlier.

Headline earnings, which account for one-off items, are expected to be between $962m (R14.2bn) and $1bn (R14.8bn)   after $379m (R5.6bn) before.

The main drivers were a 27% increase in the gold price AngloGold received during the year and weaker currencies against the dollar in the jurisdictions in which it has mines, the company said.

AngloGold also received a $110m (R1.6bn)     dividend payment from its Kibali joint venture with Barrick in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

AngloGold realised a profit of $18m (R266m)   on the sale of its Sadiola and Morila interests while it recorded a $81m (R1.1bn)    loss on the sale of its SA assets to Harmony Gold. AngloGold reversed a $17m (R251m)  impairment of its mines in SA.

Looking at gold production for the year, AngloGold noted it would report output of 3.037-million ounces, down from 3.281-million ounces before, mainly because of the disruptions to its mines from the pandemic as well as the sale of the SA mines.

“AngloGold Ashanti delivered a solid production performance for the year, taking into consideration the challenges created by the pandemic,” the company said.

The redesigned and restarted Obuasi mine in Ghana generated 127,000oz of gold during the year.    — BusinessLIVE


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