AngloGold Ashanti, third-largest gold-miner in the world with operations in South Africa on Friday has reported a 72 per cent jump in annual earnings. AngloGold reported that it nearly doubled free cash flow in 2019 to $129 million.
The miner attributed the earnings surge to the higher gold prices and robust operational performance from its Kibali, Geita, Tropicana and Iduapriem mines.
According to the miner’s statement, AngloGold Ashanti headline earning per share measure in South Africa, went up to 91 cents on December 31, 2019, from the previous year, while free cash flow before capital expenditure on growth projects, rose 106 per cent to $448 million.
However, the gold-miner statement noted that: AngloGold Ashanti invested sustaining capital of $494million in 2019 and has forecast an increase to between $640 million and $670 million in 2020.
Also, the additional investment will help the company convert existing resources into additional ore reserves and increase development at its key mines.
The added reserves extend mine lives, while more development will allow greater operating flexibility, which in turn will translate into more efficient and predictable cost and production outcomes.
“We’re working hard to deliver on our strategy and to capture the wider margin in this strong gold price environment. We’re generating strong cash flow from our operations, and that’s allowing us to increase returns to shareholders, strengthen our balance sheet and invest in our ore bodies” Chief Executive Officer, Kelvin Dushnisky said in a statement.
Further, the miner worked to deliver its strategic objectives, meeting guidance on its key operating metrics for the seventh straight year.
This means concluding agreements to sell its South African portfolio and the Sadiola mine in Mali, lowering debt, adding reserves at its retained assets after accounting for depletion, and restarting its Obuasi mine in Ghana on schedule and on budget.
The annual dividend increased by 74 per cent to 165 ZAR cents per share, which is approximately US 11 cents per share.
Also, AngloGold Ashanti reported exceptional performances from its Geita, Kibali, Tropicana and Iduapriem mines, with production and efficiency gains partly offset by operating challenges at its Siguiri and Sunrise Dam mines.
AngloGold Ashanti also commended its safety performance, saying that “ it was best on record”.