AngloGold slashes spending amid crippling mine strikes

SOUTH AFRICAN gold miner AngloGold Ashanti yesterday said it had cut its spending budget for this year, to shore up its balance sheet in the wake of strikes that have crippled much of the country’s mining industry.

The miner will reduce its capital expenditure budget by $200m (£125m) to between $2bn and $2.1bn. It will also review its corporate costs, it said yesterday, with the aim of mining fewer ounces of gold from South Africa and focusing more on its projects in Mali and the Congo.

The industrial action, which started on 20 September at AngloGold’s Kopanang mine, has so far cost the miner around 250,000 ounces of gold. It said that the strike is over at all but one of its mines.

Earnings in the third quarter dropped to $235m from $456m over the same period in 2011, as production was hit by strikes.

“It’s been a tough period for the industry here, but we've taken decisive action on a number of fronts to stay the course,” chief executive Mark Cutifani said. “Our major projects are on track and we’re making the decisions to ensure we maintain a lean, fit business that will continue delivering strong returns.”