February 4, 2020 / 9:05 AM / 18 days ago

AngloGold Ashanti to update on South African asset sale this month

CAPE TOWN, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Bullion miner AngloGold Ashanti , which has embarked on an asset review as it focuses on higher returns, will update the market on the sale of its South African operations later this month, Chief Executive Kelvin Dushnisky told Reuters on Tuesday.

The miner said in May that it will review divestment options for South African assets and has sold its stake in their Sadiola project in Mali for $105 million as it looks to streamline its portfolio and focus on assets that deliver higher returns.

“I expect to be in a position to update with our results on February 21,” said Dushnisky in an interview on the sidelines of an industry conference, the Mining Indaba, in Cape Town.

South African miners Harmony Gold and Sibanye-Stillwater have already expressed interest in AngloGold Ashanti assets.

AngloGold Ashanti had no further plans to sell any other assets said Dushnisky.

Its South African assets include Mponeng - the world’s deepest gold mine - a surface rock dump processing business and a mine waste retreatment operation.

Dushnisky said AngloGold, which has a primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, would also explore listing options in either London or Toronto.

AngloGold Ashanti, which has operations in Tanzania, Mali, Guinea and Ghana, said it was fair to expect further consolidation in the gold sector.

Dushnisky compared the gold space to a navy fleet, calling Barrick and Newmont the two “super aircraft carriers”, and saying he hoped AngloGold Ashanti could be part of a small group of “cruiser class vessels” just underneath that would be smaller and more agile.

Last year Barrick Gold Corp and Newmont agreed to form a joint venture in Nevada after Barrick withdrew its $18 billion offer for Newmont, ending a hostile takeover bid that sought to unite the world’s two largest gold producers.

Dushnisky, who also manages Tanzania’s Geita gold mine, the country’s largest, welcomed a deal sealed last month between Barrick and the Tanzanian government granting the state a 16% stake in Barrick’s three gold mines in the country.

“I think it’s a positive thing to have certainty around their operating footprint in Tanzania,” said Dushnisky adding that he has not had discussions with the Tanzanian government over the state potentially taking a similar stake in Geita. (Editing by Susan Fenton)

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