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Report: AngloGold Ashanti's Kopanang mine draws interest from suitors

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Report: AngloGold Ashanti's Kopanang mine draws interest from suitors

At least three parties are said to be interested in AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.'s Kopanang mine in South Africa, one of the loss-making operations that the company plans to shutter, City Press reported Aug. 6, citing four separate sources.

Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. is said to be one of the potential bidders for the Kopanang mine.

Kopanang Shaft 9, a company controlled by a 100% black-owned consortium, is reportedly preparing a bid of more than 330 million rand. The consortium, led by local mining engineer Lebo Ramorule and Kopanang mine manager Stephen Manyathela, is planning to bid as a management takeover, with Ramorule as the only outsider.

Another prospective buyer is said to be a consortium led by the Chinese owners of the nearby Tau Lekoa gold mine, Heaven-Sent Capital Management Group Co. Ltd.

Meanwhile, the deadline set by AngloGold for a formal offer proposal to be submitted is a week before the 60-day retrenchment deadline, City Press said, citing the documents sent to the prospective buyers.

The main assets forming the transaction include the Kopanang mine, residences and west gold plant, while the sale will exclude the Kopanang gold plant and the marginal ore rock dump.

The bidders are expected to submit a detailed business plan with information relating to the envisaged life of the mine. Additionally, the potential buyers are also expected to pay consideration wholly upfront.

"AngloGold Ashanti's preference is to conclude an agreement as soon as possible, and any such due diligence will be required to be undertaken in parallel with the negotiation of the sale agreements so as to not further delay the announcement and implementation of the proposed transaction," according to a document signed by Charles Carter, executive vice-president for strategy and business development.

All three prospective buyers and AngloGold declined to comment on the transaction.