VANCOUVER — Volatile gold markets have shifted the goal posts for miners, and South Africa’s AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU) has responded by streamlining operations and getting a better grasp on its balance sheet. The company has implemented a series of what it labels “self help measures” to control operating costs, and on Nov. 3 announced it was contemplating asset sales to assist in reducing outstanding debt.
During a conference call on Nov. 3, CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan explained that AngloGold was “optimizing all forms of expenditures, improving the portfolio quality, and sweating [its] assets harder.” The company’s efforts look to have paid off during the third quarter, as all-in sustaining costs were on the decline and production was up year-on-year.
Third quarter production totaled 1.13 million oz at total cash costs of US$820 per oz, which compares to 1.04 million oz at total cash costs of US$809 per oz during the same period in 2013. AngloGold had pegged its guidance for the quarter at between 1 million and 1.1 million oz at cash costs of US$850 to US$890 per oz. Meanwhile, all-in-sustaining costs – which include sustaining capital as well as corporate and exploration costs – were down 10% year-on-year to US$1,036 per oz.
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