The sale would include Mponeng, the world’s deepest mine and AngloGold’s last underground operation in South Africa.
Thursday 09, May 2019
(Bloomberg) --AngloGold Ashanti has moved closer to exit South Africa’s mining sector by announcing plans to sell its remaining assets in the country.
AngloGold said the sales process is at an early stage and may not ultimately result in any change to the ownership of the business.
The sale would be the final step in AngloGold’s withdrawal from South Africa after it sold and shut other mines in the country to stem losses.
Kelvin Dushnisky, AngloGold’s Chief Executive Officer, said that selling the South African assets would allow AngloGold to focus on projects with higher returns, but there is no deadline for completing a deal.
Dushnisky is considering buyers with financial and technical expertise in South Africa and has already held talks with the government and union representatives.
Keeping Mponeng would require AngloGold to invest about $1 billion to extend the mine’s life beyond its current eight years, said JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Dushnisky is refocusing AngloGold on longer-life and lower-cost operations and since taking over in September he has announced plans to sell mines in Argentina and Mali.
“Other options in the portfolio present a higher return, which is why we focusing on those and we decided to consider divestment options,” Dushnisky said.
Exiting its South African operations could be a precursor to AngloGold moving its listing to London or Toronto.
Dushnisky the company plans to remain on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), but there is still an option to move the primary listing elsewhere.