The uncertainty surrounding South Africa's revised mining charter has stalled Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd.'s long-running negotiations to purchase AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.'s assets in the country, Bloomberg News reported Aug. 2, citing people familiar with the situation.
One of the sources value the assets targeted for acquisition at between US$500 million and US$650 million.
The companies, which have been in talks for two years, are said to be considering an alternative option, which involves a partial sale of AngloGold's Vaal River gold-uranium operations to Harmony for about US$150 million, the source added.
A Harmony spokeswoman, when asked about the transaction, called it "pure speculation" and declined to comment further. A spokesman for AngloGold also declined to comment.
Harmony mainly operates end-of-life mines in South Africa and has often spoken about needing acquisitions to boost declining reserves.
In late June, AngloGold unveiled plans to lay off up to 8,500 workers as part of a drive to close loss-making mines in the country. The miner also flagged a headline loss for the first half of between US$80 million and US$98 million, which it partially attributed to to non-cash provisions related to potential retrenchment costs.