AngloGold Ashanti has recorded a solid operational start to 2020 and surpassed a significant milestone at the Tropicana mine in Western Australia.
The company produced 73,000 ounces at the Tropicana mine in the first quarter, which helped it reach its three million ounce milestone seven years after AngloGold first poured gold at the site.
This also reflected a drop from the 86,000 ounces produced in first quarter of 2019 due to the completion of grade streaming in 2019.
AngloGold consequently experienced a 16 per cent drop in the mill feed grade to 1.52 grams per tonne at Tropicana.
The Sunrise Dam mine near Laverton, Western Australia, meanwhile, contributed 57,000 ounces, compared with 72,000 ounces during 2019’s corresponding quarter.
AngloGold produced 130,000 ounces from its Australian mines during the first quarter, at a sales cost of $161 million and a cash cost of $923 per ounce.
In what the company stated would be “an important transitional year” for the business, it redeveloped the Obuasi gold mine in Ghana, sold the Sadiola mine in Mali and progressed feasibility studies for its Colombian projects.
AngloGold produced 630,000 ounces in the March quarter from its continuing operations, compared with 661,000 ounces in the prior corresponding period.
Revenue from product sales, however, increased by $160 million to $905 million over this three-month period, or 21 per cent from $745 million in 2019.
This was partially offset by a decrease in production in Australia and America.
AngloGold also prioritised the health and safety of its employees, communities and assets as it worked through the coronavirus pandemic, which compromised 14 of its assets across nine countries.
The company built inventories of critical items across all its sites to an average of four months, while ore stockpiles were built to improving operating flexibility in the event of state or nationwide lockdowns.