Cost cutting pays off for AngloGold
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – ANGLOGOLD Ashanti, which has generated free cash flow of $160 million in the fourth quarter, believes its debt-cutting measures are bearing fruit.
The Johannesburg-incorporated miner said it cut net debt by almost a third last year after margins increased despite lower gold prices.
AngloGold Ashanti delivered on a range of self-help measures last year to reduce debt using internally generated funds, without diluting shareholders.
The Cripple Creek & Victor mine in the US was sold for $820 million plus a royalty, and most of the proceeds were used to buy back a portion of the company’s most expensive debt. At the same time, a strong performance from the company’s international mines helped expand margins even as gold
“We’ve again shown consistency in hitting our production guidance, beating cost estimates, delivering free cash flow and delivering a sharp reduction in net debt levels,” Chief Executive Officer Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said.
“We achieved all of that despite lower gold prices.”
Net debt fell by 30 percent to $2,19 billion from $3,13 billion at the end of 2014, lowering the amount the company will pay in interest charges.
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) improved to an average of $910 per ounce in 2015, more than 11 percent lower than the $1 020/oz recorded the previous year, and lower than guidance of $950/oz to $980/oz.
Production of 3,95Moz was at the top end of guidance of 3,8Moz to 4 Moz.
AngloGold Ashanti has for 12 consecutive quarters either met, or beaten, its cost and production guidance.
– CAJ News
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