FILE PHOTO: A worker pours gold at the AngloGold Ashanti mine at Obuasi, Ghana

JOHANNESBURG - AngloGold Ashanti on Thursday maintained its 2019 production guidance of between 3.25 million ounces to 3.45 million ounces, as well as guidance for costs and sustaining capital expenditure.

This as AngloGold Ashanti achieved strong gains in second quarter production and cash flow, with second quarter production increasing seven percent to 801,000 ounces from 752,000 ounces over the first quarter of 2019.

The world's third-largest gold producer said free cash flow for the second quarter also increased to U.S.$78 million, compared with an outflow of U.S.$109 million in the first quarter of 2019. 

The average gold price received of U.S.$1,302 per ounce was only U.S.$5 per ounce higher than in the first quarter of 2019. The price has subsequently averaged about U.S.$1,414 per ounce as of 4 August.

"While we’ve seen a rally in the gold price, this will not diminish our focus on improving free cash flow and returns through active portfolio management and strict capital discipline," said Kelvin Dushnisky, chief executive of AngloGold Ashanti.

"Tight cost management will continue to be a key driver for us."

AngloGold Ashanti is streamlining its portfolio to ensure greater management focus and to concentrate its capital on projects delivering the highest returns, with sales processes ongoing in South Africa, Mali and Argentina.

The company has received strong interest for its remaining South African assets while separate sale processes are underway for its holdings
in the Cerro Vanguardia mine in Argentina and the Sadiola mine in Mali.

Last week, AngloGold Ashanti said it expects headline earnings for six months ended 30 June to be between U.S.$111 million and U.S.$129 million, up from U.S.$99 million for the comparative period. 

The gold producer said that headline earnings per share for the period will be between 27 US cents and 31 US cents, up from US 24 cents last year. 

- African News Agency (ANA)