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Business News of Sunday, 1 March 2015


AngloGold’s assets up for sale

In a bid to reduce its debt by about $1bn, the JSE-listed, and the world’s third-biggest gold miner, AngloGold Ashanti, this week confirmed that some of its assets were up for sale.

It did not name these assets, but it said many interested parties had been in touch with it regarding these assets.

Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, the CEO of AngloGold Ashanti, said the interest in joint ventures were for Ghana’s Obuasi Mine and its deposits in Colombia.

The Obuasi Gold Mine is an open pit and underground gold mine near Obuasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.

Both mines became part of AngloGold Ashanti when AngloGold merged with the Ashanti Goldfields Corporation in 2004.

Additionally, AngloGold Ashanti began actively exploring in Colombia in 2002.

To date in excess of $255 million has been invested in various Greenfield exploration projects in the country, resulting in two major discoveries at La Colosa in the Tolima province and Gramalote in the Antioquia province.

Both projects are now at the stage of advanced economic evaluation.

AngloGold Ashanti recently said it is poised to retrench some of its staffers by giving them voluntary severance packages as the lower gold prices and rising costs take their toll.

“We have offered voluntary severance packages to staff, which is part of our self-help measures we announced at our quarterly results to further reduce costs and enhance efficiency,” Reuters quoted spokesman, Chris Nthite, as having said.

A union source close to negotiations with the company told Reuters that 1 200 spots had been impacted in South Africa alone. Additionally, AngloGold is currently looking at seconding 300 workers to other spots while also retrenching 900 workers.

In the third quarter to September last year, AngloGold posted a marked drop in earnings, hit by a lower gold price, inflationary pressures, and higher tax charges.

According to Reuters, AngloGold Ashanti told staffers in an internal memo that all workers were allowed to apply for severance packages.