Cost Cutting Measures Continue with AngloGold Ashanti
Mining giant AngloGold Ashanti (JSE: ANG) is continuing to find ways to cut costs as the company reported less than expected earnings in the second quarter of 2014.
AngloGold reported a net loss of $28 million for the six months to end June, from a $1.9 billion loss the previous year. The world’s third-largest gold miner confirmed mine closures and layoffs were imminent to cut roughly $500 million from operating costs by December.
As part of its initiative, AngloGold Ashanti will shut down its Obuasi mine in Ghana to restructure the mine into a smaller, more profitable operation.
“Addressing the underperformance at Obuasi remains a key objective for us,” said Fred Attakumah, managing director of AngloGold Ashanti Ghana.
“We’re committed to engaging with the Government of Ghana, our employees and the other important local and regional stakeholders throughout this process, as we work to return this key asset to sustainable, long-term profitability for the benefit of all constituencies."
The company has already sold off its Navachab gold mine in Namibia for $104 million and is working to fix or sell mines or enter joint ventures on other assets.
According to chief executive Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, the company is not entertaining the idea of an acquisition or merger. “Our focus isn't to rush into M&A but to get the operations on a better footing."
He added, “you can only do your best, you can't guarantee" that there will be no accidents.
Lower gold prices, higher capital spending and labor disputes eclipsed the company’s 17 percent increase in gold production output in Q2.
Global iron ore production to recover by 5.1% in 2021
Global iron ore production fell by 3% to 2.2bnt in 2020. Global production is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% to 2,663.4Mt between 2021 to 2025. The key contributors to this grow will be Brazil (6.2%), South Africa (4.1%), Australia (3.2%) and India (2.9%). Key upcoming projects expected to commence operations include South Flank in Australia (2021), Zulti in South Africa (H2 2021), Serrote Da Laje in Brazil (H2 2021) and Gudai-Darri (2022), according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, comments: “Declines from Brazil and India were major contributors to the reduced output in 2020. Combined production from these two countries fell from a collective 638.2Mt in 2019 to an estimated 591.1Mt in 2020. The reduced output from the iron ore giant, Vale, was the key factor behind Brazil’s reduced output, while delays in the auctioning of mines in Odisha affected India’s output in 2020.
“Miners in Australia were relatively unaffected by COVID-19 due to effective measures adopted by the Australian Government, while a speedy recovery in China led to a significant 10.4% increase in the country’s iron ore output.”
Looking ahead, the global iron ore production is expected to increase by 111.3Mt to 2,302.5Mt in 2021. Rio Tinto is expected to produce up to 340Mt of iron ore, while BHP has released production guidance of 245–255Mt, supported by the start of the Samarco project in December, which is expected to produce between 1–2Mt.The company has retained its guidance for Australian mines at 276–286Mt on a 100% basis, due to scheduled maintenance work at its ore handling plant and tie-in activity at the Area C mine and South-Flank mine.
Bajaj added: “The remaining companies are expected to produce more than 600Mt of iron ore, including FMG, whose production is expected to range between 175–180Mt supported by its Eliwana mine that commenced operations in late December 2020, and Anglo American, which is expecting to produce between 64–67Mt. Vale is expected to resume 40Mt of its production capacity, taking its overall production capacity to 350Mt in 2021, with production guidance of 315-335Mt.”