AngloGold swings back into H1 profit, Obuasi mine reboot on track

AngloGold Ashanti swung back into a first-half profit on the back of higher production and lower-than-expected retrenchment costs, Africa’s top gold producer said on Monday.

The firm posted headline earnings of US$99million for January-June – in line with figures it had previously flagged, compared with a headline loss for the same period last year of US$89million.

The turnaround in performance was also due to the absence of one-off, non-cash settlement costs for silicosis class-action claims which hit its earnings last year.

In Ghana, AngloGold said the redevelopment of its historic Obuasi asset is on track with the issuing of environmental permits and ratification by the Ghanaian parliament of the fiscal and regulatory agreements to reboot the mine.

“The ratification of investment agreements by Ghana’s parliament in June allowed redevelopment of the high-grade Obuasi Gold Mine to commence in earnest,” the company said.

AngloGold said in February it would spend up to US$500million to mechanise its Obuasi Mine in Ghana.

The company said last year Ghana’s military had cleared Obuasi Mine of illegal miners – who had invaded the site and numbered up to 12,000 at one, paving the way for the company to revive it.

AngloGold’s outgoing Chief Executive, Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, said on a conference call that concluding the Obuasi agreements was his “most satisfying” accomplishment as he prepares to step down at the end of August.

“If that hadn’t been concluded, I would have left with quite a big regret,” he said.