AngloGold holds strong amid heavy rain

Despite substantial rain impacting the Tropicana gold mine, AngloGold Ashanti…

Despite substantial rain impacting the Tropicana gold mine, AngloGold Ashanti believes the weather won’t have an impact on its gold production.

Therefore, the company has left its 2023–24 financial year (FY24) production and cost guidance unchanged.

“The area in which the Tropicana gold mine is located received more than 350mm of rain in a 72-hour period from March 9, almost 50 per cent higher than its average annual rainfall,” AngloGold Ashanti said.

“The subsequent flooding interrupted power supply to the processing plant and required mining operations to be temporarily suspended. Power has been restored to the site and access to the underground mine has resumed.

“However, mining from the open pits remains restricted until surface water is cleared through pumping and evaporation. There have been no safety incidents during this period and the mine infrastructure remains sound.”

AngloGold Ashanti said it may see some reduction in gold production at Tropicana for the first half of 2024. However, the gold miner said any decrease is expected to be mostly recovered in the second half of the year.

“Consequently, the company does not believe that this event will have an impact on its gold production and cost guidance provided in February 2024, which guidance is therefore maintained,” AngloGold Ashanti said.

AngloGold Ashanti’s Tropicana joint venture partner Regis Resources revealed earlier this week that it won’t change its FY24 guidance despite heavy rainfall interrupting its operations.

Like Regis, AngloGold Ashanti said the heavy rainfall has closed the supply road to Tropicana.

As a result, the Tropicana processing plant is treating stockpiled ore at a reduced throughput rate. Processing may be suspended if consumable stocks are exhausted before the road reopens.

The Tropicana update follows AngloGold revealing a net loss of $US235 million and $US46 million in headline loss for the year ending December 31 2023.

The company also recorded $US1.42 billion in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, and $US1.27 billion is adjusted net debt.

AngloGold Ashanti said basic earnings were down year-on-year due to factors such as:

  • higher costs related to the corporate restructuring
  • higher environmental provisions for legacy tailings storage facilities
  • higher care and maintenance and retrenchment costs associated with the Córrego do Sítio operation that was placed on care and maintenance in August 2023
  • higher operating and exploration costs
  • higher foreign exchange losses
  • higher tax expense.

“These effects were partially offset by higher equity-accounted joint venture income, higher finance income, lower impairments and derecognitions recognised in Brazil, and a higher average gold price received per ounce,” AngloGold Ashanti said.

“This year-on-year increase is mainly due to lower cash generation from operating activities, lower dividends received from the Kibali joint venture and the once-off costs associated with the corporate restructuring.”

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