07/05/2010 Mark Cutifani CEO of AngloGold Ashanti presenting their first quarter results at their offices in JHB. (176) Photo: Leon N icholas

World No. 3 bullion producer AngloGold Ashanti on Monday cautioned that a prolonged strike could lead to the early downsizing of its South African operations.

Some 35,000 employees, including contractors, at AngloGold's South African mines have been on an illegal strike since September 25.

“Clearly for South Africa's gold sector, as for many others, there is a very clear trade-off between investing in the sustainability of our business and employment,” chief executive Mark Cutifani said in a statement. - Reuters