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AngloGold Ashanti produces 11% less gold in 2015 at 3.95 mil oz; targets 3.6-3.8 mil oz in 2016

Hong Kong — Global gold miner AngloGold Ashanti reported a total 3.947 million oz of gold production in 2015, 11% less than the 4.44 million oz reported a year earlier.

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The 2015 amount hits the top end of output guidance of 3.8-4.0 million oz announced by the Johannesburg-based company in November last year, AngloGold Ashanti said in its December 2015 quarter operational report filed to the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday.

All-in sustaining costs improved to an average of $910/oz in 2015, more than 11% lower than the $1,020/oz recorded the previous year, and lower than the $950-980/oz guidance, it noted.

For 2016, the world's third largest gold company has set a target of producing 3.6-3.8 million oz of gold, about 3.7-8.8% lower than the level achieved last year. All-in sustaining cost guidance are expected to reach $900-$960/oz in 2016, as compared with $910/oz attained last year.

Despite safety-related stoppages that affected output of its South African operations last year, AngloGold Ashanti still managed to deliver 997,000 oz of gold during the quarter, 2.4% higher than the September quarter and better than 900,000-950,000 oz guidance for the three-month period. The volume however remained 13.8% less than 1.16 million oz recorded in the December 2014 quarter.

Total all-in sustaining cost stood at $860/oz between October and December, 14% lower on the year and 8% less than the previous quarter.

The gold miner said its South African operation started to show a modest recovery in the quarter from operational challenges related principally to safety disruptions in the first three quarters of the year.

While production in the December quarter, at 252,000 oz, was consistent with the September quarter, it remained 16% lower than a year earlier. All-in sustaining cost of $988/oz in the December quarter was down 10% from a year ago, and a 16% improvement from the previous quarter.

For the whole of 2015, AngloGold Ashanti said the safety disruptions had resulted in production loss of 112,800 oz of gold from the South African operations.

AngloGold Ashanti's operations from Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Tanzania, Australia, Argentina and Brazil poured 745,000 oz of gold output in the December quarter at an all-in sustaining cost of $786/oz, which corresponded to a 7% decrease in production but a 17% improvement in all-in sustaining cost on the same quarter of 2014.

--Winnie Lee,
--Edited by Maurice Geller,