AngloGold Ashanti has started the restructuring process of its loss-making South African business units, aimed at ensuring long-term viability and preventing further losses. 

As part of the process, the company has started consultations with employees for placing the Savuka section of TauTona and Kopanang mines on care and maintenance.

In addition, the company is assessing the integration of the 60-year-old TauTona with the neighbouring Mponeng mine.

AngloGold Ashanti CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said: “This is a difficult decision which follows a period of significant and ultimately unsustainable losses, and also the evaluation of the options available to return our South African business to profitability.

“It is critical that we act to protect the long-term sustainability of this business and the majority of our workforce.”

It is estimated that around 8,500 roles will be affected in the South African business.

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"It is critical that we act to protect the long-term sustainability of this business and the majority of our workforce."

Through the restructuring plan, the company aims to return to profitability, while controlling job losses. 

AngloGold attributed the losses to factors, including near-depletion of ore reserves, increasing depth and distance from central infrastructure, declining production profiles, in addition to cost escalations and a subdued gold price. 

Earlier this year, the company stated that it would review its South African gold-mining operations in the wake of unsustainable losses.

Recently, the South African Government’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) rolled-out the reviewed mining charter, calling for companies to increase black ownership to 30%, up from the existing 26%.

Image: TauTona site photo. Photo: courtesy of AngloGold Ashanti.