AngloGold Ashanti posts strongest Q1 performance in four years

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“Our operators have delivered another strong performance and we continue to manage costs aggressively,” Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer of AngloGold Ashanti, said in a statement.

“There’s still plenty of work to do, but with a strong team intact, a good foundation, and some significant wins under our belt, we remain focused on continuing to deliver positive results to our shareholders under tough market conditions.”

First-quarter production of 1.06 million ounces of gold (Moz) at a total cash cost of 770 dollars an ounce, was the strongest first quarter performance in four years.

This is compared with guidance of 950,000 ounces to 1Moz at a total cash cost of 800 dollars per ounce to 850 dollars per ounce. AngloGold Ashanti’s all-in sustaining cost however declined by 22 per cent to 993 dollars per ounce.

(READ MORE: AngloGold Ashanti year earnings drop 39% in 2013)

“The 17 per cent rise in production year-on-year and 22 per cent decline in costs were aided by the continued ramp-up of the two new, low-cost Kibali and Tropicana mines, together with ongoing efficiency improvements across the company,” AngloGold Ashanti explained.

Net debt stable was reported stable at 3.105 billion dollars. At the end of the first quarter of 2014, net debt was 3.09 billion dollars compared to 3.105 billion dollars in the previous quarter. This resulted in a net debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation ratio of 1.9 times.

“Over the past 18 months, AngloGold Ashanti has taken decisive steps to adapt to the sharp decline in the gold price and more volatile market conditions,” the company explained.

“Corporate and exploration costs have more than halved, the company is on track to realise its targeted 500 million in annualised operating cost savings by year-end, and capital expenditure has been further rationalised.”