AngloGold returns to work – mostly

AngloGold Ashanti’s operations have mostly returned to normal Viewpoint > Covid-19

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In Latin America, the miner’s only operation, Cerro Vanguardia in Argentina, has resumed its milling operations as of April 6. Now at its prime capacity, the facility will be processing stockpiles for now so that production can remain near its planned levels with a smaller crew.

The operation, which produced about 225,000oz last year, had been on operational suspension since March 21; its idling was the result of nationwide virus closure directives and border closings.

The Mineração Serra Grande complex in Brazil is also once again mining thanks to a municipality decree and federal statement/ordinance from the country’s mining minister. Ramp-up efforts there began on April 5 for the first time since March 27.

Last year, Serra Grande produced 123,000oz.

AngloGold’s operations in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil continue, just as with Australia, Tanzania, the DRC, Guinea, Ghana and Mali. However, US exploration work has been and will remain suspended.

In South Africa, AngloGold Ashanti was given permission by the country’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy for a limited restart at its surface operations. This has already occurred, and the assets will process marginal ore dumps at the West Wits operations and reclaim tailings at its Mine Waste Solutions business unit in Vaal River.

"The restart of these operations on 6 April 2020 has been facilitated by about 500 employees, spread across both the West Wits and Vaal River regions," the miner explained. "This is less than a third of the usual staff complement for these business units, and roughly 8% of our total South Africa workforce. The limited restart will help safeguard technical infrastructure and enable a safe and quick resumption of all remaining operations once the lockdown is over."

Not all of the company’s mines, however, are returning to normal. The production of the Mponeng underground operation in the country remains suspended through at least April 30. It is now AngloGold’s only idle mine.

"A diverse portfolio and proactive management of our balance sheet has given us flexibility during this unprecedented time," CEO Kelvin Dushnisky said. "We’re focused on the health of our employees and our communities, while ensuring we have the ability to contribute meaningfully […]

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