AngloGold blames labour cost for $82 million blowout

AngloGold Ashanti has blamed an overheated construction market in Western Australia for an $82 million blowout at the Tropicana project.

Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani, who is leaving in April to lead Anglo American, claimed construction labour costs and low productivity were to blame for the blowouts.

He also blamed the carbon tax for higher fuel costs, with the miner increasing projected operating costs at the mine by $25 an ounce to between $590 and $630.

The total cost of the Tropicana project north east of Kalgoorlie is now expected to fall between $820-$845 million, up from the previous projection of $725-$775m.

The mine is a 70/30 joint venture between AngloGold and Independence Gold, and remains on schedule to hit first production in the last quarter of this year.

Last year AngloGold said it aimed to spend $766 million in WA over the next few years, with the money being funnelled into Tropicana and expansions at the Sunrise Dam mine.

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