South Africa’s AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. reported its full year profit recently and revealed that it had jumped over sevenfold compared to 2017 after excluding some one-time items.
The higher earnings were boosted by lower amortisation after the closure and sale of some of its assets as well as a higher income from its Kibali operations.
Earnings jumped to 53 cents ($0.0375) a share for the year ended December 31st, 2018. This is compared to just 6 cents a year ago. The number was in line with what was forecast.
Newly appointed CEO Kelvin Dushnisky said during the earnings call, “We’re 100% committed to meeting guidance always, and we’re taking steps to improve our planning so that we can provide longer term guidance for the business.”
The world’s third largest gold miner also revealed that it is putting its interests in an Argentine mine up for sale.
“As we look at the assets portfolio it is very important that we can see the assets in our mix have long-term potential and to the extent that they don’t or there is other strategic reasons to disinvest, we will do that,” Dushnisky said to Reuters.
“It’s a single asset in an area where we are not likely to be focusing and investing more given the other opportunities we have in the pipeline to invest elsewhere in higher return projects and in areas where we have critical mass,” he said.
It was in January that Vale’s Brumadinho iron ore tailings dam in Brazil collapsed in the south-eastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. It released a torrent of sludge and buried people and buildings in the town of Brumadinho leading to 150 people at least being killed and over 180 still remain missing.
“Safety is showing significant improvement, but we still need to do better. Environmental management is also critically important and an area in which we’re performing well. But like safety, we always can do better and we must never be complacent and we won/t. Speaking of safety, we should reflect for a minute on the recent tailings tragedy in Brazil. As a company with a large number of employees who live in the area, we’ve extended our deepest condolences to all of those who are affected,” said Dushinsky.
AngloGold said its South African Mponeng mine has also improved since going through restructuring and there were no immediate plans to sell it.
“We are not pressed to come to any kind of conclusion. We will continue to evaluate it like the rest of the portfolio,” Dushnisky explained.