KELVIN Dushnisky described AngloGold Ashanti’s 14 mine portfolio as “heavy” and reiterated an earlier comment that the group would streamline, focusing on assets that had “critical mass” and offered “optionality”. Dushnisky, formerly president of Barrick Gold, was appointed CEO of the Johannesburg-headquartered gold producer on July 23.
Speaking during a media conference call following the publication of AngloGold’s third quarter operating numbers, Dushnisky said it made sense to streamline the company over time, starting with the possible divestment from Sadiola, a mine in Mali which was previously owned by Anglo American Gold & Uranium division, the precursor to AngloGold.
AngloGold said in its quarterly notes that it and its partner in Sadiola, IAMGOLD, “… have initiated a process to identify third parties that may be interested in acquiring their collective interests in Sadiola”. The two companies own a combined 82% stake in the mine. The divestment process was at “… a very preliminary stage”.
The potential divestment from Sadiola comes as capital spend decisions are required for a sulphide project which also requires an agreement with the Mali government. In this context, selling Sadiola also demonstrates that assets with a long-term future will best compete for capital allocation in the new AngloGold.
It said in opening its third quarter commentary that it remained “… committed to its strategy of safely improving cash flows from a simpler, higher quality portfolio”. AngloGold’s sole underground asset in South Africa, Mponeng, is still considered core, however.