Gold mine, South Africa

AngloGold has reported a lower-than-expected production level in the third quarter of 2012, citing ongoing strikes at several South African mines as the reason for the slow-down.

The production for the three months to September 30 2012 was 1.03Moz, which compares with guidance for the period of 1.07Moz to 1.10Moz at a unit total cash cost of $835/oz and $865/oz.

"The lower-than-expected production level was primarily due to continued labour unrest in South Africa and lower-than-anticipated production at Obuasi, and will have a commensurate impact on unit total cash costs," the company said in a statement.

AngloGold recently terminated the contract with Mining and Building Contractors, who were responsible for underground development at the Obuasi mine.

Unsatisfactory underground development at the Obuasi mine was found to cause declining production in the past few years.

The company expects to provide additional details about the third-quarter financial and operating results on 8 November 2012.

Strikes across three AngloGold mines in the Vaal River region have now ended and employees resumed work at Kopanang, Great Noligwa and Moab Khotsong a week ago.

As a result of the industry’s Collective Bargaining framework, workers will receive improved wages.

About 12,000 workers from AngloGold’s Mponeng , TauTona and Savuka mines in the West Wits region, however, are yet to return to work.

AngloGold employs 35,000 workers across its South African mines, which have generated nearly 32% of total gold production during the first half of 2012.

Image: AngloGold has ramped up production at the Moab Khotsong mine. Photo: AngloGold Ashanti Limited