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South Africa’s Anglogold plays down merger prospects amid deal talk

PUBLISHED: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 14:31:14 GMT

TORONTO/JOHANNESBURG, March 31 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Anglogold Ashanti does not need to pursue mergers and won’t add scale for its own sake, its interim chief executive said on Wednesday, tamping speculation it could take part in further consolidation of the sector.

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman this month floated the idea of a merger with peers AngloGold and Gold Fields, arguing consolidation is needed for South Africa’s gold miners to compete globally.

Interim CEO Christine Ramon declined to comment directly when asked about a potential tie-up with Gold Fields during a roundtable at the Mining Indaba Virtual Investment Programme alongside Froneman and Barrick Gold head Mark Bristow.

Consolidation can bring benefits including operational synergies, but can also add complexity and costs, she said.

“I think bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better,” she said. “We wouldn’t look to build scale just for the sake of it.”

Ramon, who replaced Kelvin Dushinsky at the helm of Anglogold last year on an interim basis, said the miner is focused on developing its own assets and has the support of investors.

“For us it’s far more important not to get distracted,” she said. (Reporting by Jeff Lewis in Toronto and Tanisha Heiberg in Johannesburg; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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