Anglogold Ashanti returns to profit

The cost cutting measures imposed by South African gold miner Anglogold Ashanti appear to have delivered immediate results after the firm announced an earnings jump on Wednesday on the back of a 12 percent rise in production and ten percent drop in total cash costs from the previous quarter.

The company, led by new CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, is cutting jobs, spending and exploration and slowing production at higher-cost mines as it adjusts to a gold price down 22 percent this year.

Adjusted headline earnings, which exclude one-time items, were $576 million, or $1.48 a share, in the three months ended September 30 from a loss of $135 million, or $0.35 a share, in the previous quarter.

"We've delivered a decisive response to the lower gold price with all operating regions showing better production and we've seen cost improvements at every level," Mr Venkatakrishnan, said in a statement. "We'll continue driving hard to build on these early successes."

AngloGold Ashanti responded swiftly to a sharp drop in the gold price this year, cutting unprofitable ounces from its production base, optimising its capital expenditure and enhancing efficiency by slashing waste and improving its mine plans.

Image: © Anglogold Ashanti

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