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AngloGold reaffirms 2023 production guidance

AngloGold’s Sunrise Dam operation in Australia.

AngloGold Ashanti third-quarter production update covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

AngloGold’s Sunrise Dam operation in Australia.

9th November 2023

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti has reaffirmed annual production guidance for 2023 after third-quarter gold production improved versus the second quarter, continuing the recovery from setbacks faced in the first and second quarters at its mines in Brazil and Guinea.

The New York- and Johannesburg-listed UK-domiciled AngloGold, which has recorded no fatalities in the nine months to September 30, continued to build third-quarter momentum with a 3% increase in gold production versus the second quarter of the year. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)

Gold production rose to 673 000 oz in the third quarter of 2023 from 652 000 oz in the second quarter of 2023 mainly due to higher ore tonnes processed partly offset by lower overall recovered grades.

The three highest gold production gains quarter-on-quarter were from Africa, with Iduapriem up 27%, Siguiri up 22% and Kibali reporting a 13% increase.

These increases in gold production quarter-on-quarter, which included South America’s Serra Grande’s 9%, again Africa’s Geita at 6% and then Australia’s Tropicana at 3%, were partly offset by a 19% lower production performance at Obuasi in Ghana, 13% lower production at AGA Mineração in Brazil, 5% lower production at Cerro Vanguardia in Argentina and 3% lower production at Sunrise Dam in Australia. Adjusting for the placement of Córrego do Sítio in Brazil in care and maintenance, gold production was up 5% quarter-on-quarter.

AngloGold has been taking steps to close the value gap with its international peers. These efforts involve initiatives to enhance cost-efficiency and extend the life of its mines while also prioritising safety, optimising cash flow, and ensuring the successful delivery of projects.

The primary listing migration to the NYSE was completed on September 25, to enable enhanced access to the world's largest capital market and improved positioning alongside the gold industry's most highly valued companies.

"Gold production has improved in the third quarter of 2023 and is expected to step up again over the remainder of the year, in line with our guidance,” CEO Alberto Calderon stated in a media release to Mining Weekly.

“We continue the work across a number of fronts to enhance our competitiveness versus our peers; our corporate restructuring is complete, we’ve continued to sharpen our operational and project focus, and we’re on track to deliver on our decarbonisation commitments," Calderon added.

As part of the approach to narrow management focus and direct its capital allocation to the Company’s Tier One and Tier Two operating assets, as well as its high-return development projects, the process of placing the loss-making Córrego do Sítio mine in care and maintenance began during August 2023, and the sale of 50% indirect interest in the Gramalote project to B2Gold Corp was completed.

Studies related to AngloGold’s first development in the Beatty Mining District in Nevada, USA, are advancing with disclosure earlier this year of an initial 8.4-million ounce of mineral resource and an initial exploration target of between six and eight million ounces from the Merlin deposit being reported.

A final investment decision for North Bullfrog is anticipated in 2024, once the appropriate permits have been received.

Furthermore, the decarbonisation programme has been advancing at the Geita site, in Tanzania, and at the Tropicana site, in Western Australia.

Preparation for connecting the mine site to the Tanzania grid, which has a high percentage of its power mix from renewable energy sources, is well advanced, while at the Tropicana project, works have commenced for the construction of a 62 MW wind and solar facility.

Additional salient points from the third quarter of 2023 include:

• Geita, which recorded improved gold production versus the prior quarter of 2023, being on track for a strong finish to the year with a production target of 500 000 oz.

• Kibali’s gold production rising 13% versus the prior quarter of 2023 and 19% versus the same period last year, driven mainly by higher ore tonnes processed and higher overall recovered grades. Successful exploration is expected to more than replace reserves depleted by mining this year.

• Iduapriem recording a 27% quarter-on-quarter production improvement as mine throughput increased following commissioning of the new tailings storage facility. Grades improved after accelerating access to higher-grade blocks.

• Siguiri posting a strong quarter-on-quarter increase in production, as the mine stepped up production to near-normal levels following the carbon-in-leach tank failure during the second quarter of 2023. Whilst throughput stepped up, recovery rates are anticipated to improve by year end, as the remaining carbon-in-leach tanks are re-commissioned and reintroduced into the processing circuit.

• Sunrise Dam’s full asset Potential review programme continuing to deliver positive results as underground tonnes mined continued to show steady improvement. During the third quarter of 2023, the mine recorded an 18% year-on-year improvement in underground ore tonnes processed.

• Obuasi’s gold production being lower owing mainly to poor ground conditions in high-grade areas at the current mining front. In line safety commitment, the decision was taken to review the mining method employed for such high-grade areas. Following that review, a pilot study for the transition from sub-level open stoping to underhand cut and fill is now underway.

• AGA Mineração Córrego do Sítio being placed in care and maintenance in August.

For the nine months to the end of September, gold production was 1.909-million ounces, compared with 1.971-million ounces in the same period last year. The production shortfall over the nine-month period in 2023 versus the same period last year was mainly due to issues previously flagged, such as second-quarter carbon-in-leach tank failure at Siguiri, which resulted in an estimated loss of 29 000 attributable ounces of production, and the first-quarter suspension of waste deposition on the Calcinados tailings facility at Cuiabá. This necessitated the transition to gold-in-concentrate production and the

subsequent loss of an estimated 5 000 oz of production. The Siguiri tank has been repaired and the mine has ramped back up to full production, while it is anticipated that, for the full year, Cuiabá will exceed its targeted gold production of 180 000 oz, made up of 60 000 oz of gravimetric gold and 120 000 oz of gold-in-concentrate.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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