AngloGold Ashanti has posted a first quarter headline earnings of $203m, driven by the higher gold price, a statement from the company has announced.
It follows the mining firms’ continued reinvestment programme aimed at completing the redevelopment of the Obuasi gold mine and adding new gold reserves across its portfolio.
The $203m profit is a remarkable improvement compared to the # $143m, the mining firm made for the same quarter of 2020.
According to the statement , adjusted net debt declined by 43% year-on-year to $908m in the first quarter of 2021 from $1,606m in the first quarter of 2020.
“We continue to make progress in delivering on our strategy,” Interim Chief Executive Officer Christine Ramon said. “Our balance sheet remains in a solid position and Obuasi is making steady progress to completion.”
“This year and next will be key investment years for AngloGold Ashanti as it increases production from brownfields projects and builds on strong reserve additions from exploration in 2020, to increase its overall reserve base and the life of its mines.”
She says construction at the Obuasi Redevelopment Project, which will transform the 20Moz high-grade gold ore body, initially placed on care and maintenance in 2016, into a top-tier gold producer, achieved 97% completion by the end of March this year.
Production from the mine rose 53% to 46,000oz in the first quarter of 2021, from 30,000oz the prior quarter.
Also, production for the first quarter of 2021 was 588,000oz at a total cash cost of $999/oz, compared with 630,000oz at a total cash cost of $773/oz from continuing operations in the same period in 2020.
Impact of COVID 19
Anglogold says solid production performances at AGA Mineração, Serra Grande, Siguiri and Obuasi were offset by declines at other mines in the portfolio.
In the first quarter of 2021, COVID-19 accounted for an estimated 4,000oz of lost production and an estimated $29/oz of all-in sustaining costs.
The Brazilian operations and Obuasi mine were most affected by the pandemic during the first quarter, with high rates of absenteeism affecting productivity in Brazil and ongoing challenges encountered in the rotation of expatriate workers from Australia to Ghana.