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AngloGold Ashanti has announced it will sell its entire 50 per cent direct interest in the Gramalote project in Colombia to B2 Gold Corp.

The investment is to be sold for a total consideration of up to $60 million, with AngloGold Ashanti planning to continue to focus on high-return development projects.

“This sale will help increase our focus on our operating assets the projects we intend to develop,” AngloGold Ashanti chief executive officer Alberto Calderon said.

“AngloGold Ashanti remains a committed, long-term investor in Colombia with our exciting Quebradona copper and gold project and we look forward to playing a key role in developing of a modern, responsible mining sector in the country.”

With an attributable mineral resource of 2.6 million ounces, inclusive of a mineral reserve of 1.6 million ounces, both partners determined that the Gramalote project does not meet their investment thresholds for development.

The agreement provides full ownership of the project to B2Gold and follows the mine’s failure to yield an offer from a third party that was acceptable to either AngloGold Ashanti or B2Gold.

AngloGold Ashanti will receive a cash payment of $20 million at the closing date of the proposed transaction, with the balance dependent on Gramalote’s project construction and production milestones.

The proposed transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to limited conditions including approval of the South African Reserve Bank.

The sale follows the closure of AngoGold Ashanti’s Córrego de Sítio (CDS) gold mine in Brazil after sustained operating losses.