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New York - AngloGold Ashanti, Africa’s largest producer of the metal, said the tax implications of spinning off its South African operations will be an important factor in determining whether it proceeds with the idea.

“Tax will be one of the key determinants in which way we go,” Executive Director Tony O’Neill yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Alix Steel in Hollywood, Florida, where BMO Capital Markets is holding a mining and metals conference.

“We have tax in different countries. That seems to be significant.”

Billionaire investor John Paulson, whose hedge fund is the biggest shareholder in AngloGold, has said the Johannesburg- based mining company might increase in value if it were to split its business between South African assets and operations outside the country.

Gold Fields, another South African gold miner in which Paulson invests, said in November it plans to spin off most of its operations in the country. - Bloomberg News