AngloGold Ashanti says the year 2021 was very challenging for the company as its production for the year under review was lower than that of 2020 due to the continued impact of the global pandemic on production and costs.
“Production for 2021 was lower than the prior year mainly due to the sale of the South African operations, the company’s undertaking significant reinvestments across key assets, lower realised grades across certain operations, the temporary suspension of underground mining activities at Obuasi, as well as the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on production and costs,” the company said in its trading statement for the year ending December 2021.
The global mining firm said the impact on production from COVID-19 in 2021 was estimated at 47koz for 2021, mainly affecting its operations in Ghana, Brazil and Argentina.
The company’s production for the year ended 31 December, 2021 is expected to be 2.472Moz, compared to 3.047Moz, which included 241koz from it previously owned South African operations for the year ended 31 December 2020.
However, the management of the firm said the company has reasonable certainty that headline earnings for the period are expected be between US$572 million and US$642 million, with headline earnings per share (“HEPS”) of between US 137 cents and US 153 cents, a decrease of 36percent to 42percent from the comparative period.
“Headline earnings and HEPS for the comparative period in 2020 were $1,000 million and US 238 cents, respectively.
The total basic earnings for the period are expected to be between US$584 million and US$650 million, resulting in total basic earnings per share (“EPS”) between US 139 cents and US 154 cents, a decrease of 32percent to 39percent from the comparative period. The basic earnings and EPS for the comparative period were US$953 million and US 227 cents, respectively,” it added.
The company revealed in its trading statement for 2021 that the expected overall decrease in earnings for the period is primarily due to lower gold sales volumes as well as higher operating costs resulting in an increase in the cost of sales, mainly due to lower grades achieved and higher level of stockpile drawdowns – exacerbated by inflationary pressures and the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on costs.