Mining firm AngloGold Ashanti has witnessed a significant 160 per cent increase in profit to $946million in 2020, from $364million in 2019.
As a result, dividend increased more than fivefold to 48 US cents per share in 2020, from 9 US cents per share in 2019.
According to its preliminary 2020 Result, net debt from continuing operations went down by 62 percent year-on-year to $597m in 2020, from $1.5 billion in 2019; the lowest in the last ten years.
The company added 6 million ounces of new Ore Reserve, on a gross basis, as it chartered a return to growth in the coming years.
The revamped Obuasi mine contributed significantly to the growth of AngloGold’s headline earnings.
According to the Interim Chief Executive Officer Christine Ramon “after several years of rationalising our portfolio, we have a clear and credible path to disciplined, high-return growth. We’ve built a solid balance sheet, which allows us to continue self-funding our capital investment, while rewarding shareholders.”
The Company aims to grow annual production from last year’s 3.05 million ounces to between 3.2 million ounces and 3.6 million ounces, by 2025. This growth will mainly include the ramp-up of the Obuasi mine in Ghana, and incremental improvements from existing assets in the next two years.
Beyond that, it will include the addition of new production from Colombia assuming plans for investment are approved by the Board of the Company (the “Board”) later this year.
AngloGold Ashanti embarked on a multi-year initiative at the beginning of 2020, to increase investment in ore reserve development and brownfields exploration.
In its first year, the programme yielded 6 million ounces of gold – more than replacing depletion from mining and extending the overall reserve life of the Company’s portfolio.
These additions included 1.4 million new ounces of Ore Reserve at the Geita Gold Mine in Tanzania, and 1.8 million ounces at Obuasi, in Ghana.
Regrettably, AngloGold Ashanti recorded six fatalities last year, four at Mponeng in South Africa and two at Obuasi.
It however said it will implement an updated safety strategy across its business, with particular focus on the critical controls needed to eliminate what it call ‘high consequence, low frequency’ events.
AngloGold Ashanti is listed on both the Ghana Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.