AngloGold Ashanti’s strong gains in second quarter production could not stop the company from recording a slight decrease in output over the first six months of 2019.
The company’s production increased seven per cent in the second quarter over the previous period, rising from 752,000 ounces to 801,000 ounces.
AngloGold, however, produced 1.554 million ounces of gold at a total cash cost of $US792 ($1165) an ounce in the first six months of 2019, compared with 1.578 million ounces at a cash cost of $US807 an ounce in the same period last year.
The half-year decline accounts for a production drop at the Sunrise Dam mine in Western Australia due to lower grade.
Strong improvements from the Tropicana mine in Western Australia, as well as other company operations in Tanzania and Africa have partly offset the loss.
Tropicana was declared Australia’s fifth largest gold mine in the March quarter, and is 70 per cent owned by AngloGold and 30 per cent by Independence Group.
Better metallurgical recoveries at Tropicana have contributed to a two per cent improvement in the company’s all-in sustaining costs (AISC) to US$1002 an ounce for the first half of 2019 when compared to the same period last year.
AngloGold is maintaining its production guidance for the full year between 3.25–3.45 million ounces, with total cash costs between $US730–780 an ounce.
It has also set a new safety record with four consecutive quarters and a total of 449 days without a fatality.
AngloGold has received strong interest for its remaining South African assets, with sale processes under way for its holdings in the Cerro Vanguardia mine in Argentina and the Sadiola mine in Mali, amid company plans to exit South Africa.