Improve portfolio quality
AngloGold Ashanti builds on its portfolio quality through projects such as our Full Potential Programme which aims to ensure optimal mine performance. We are flexible in delivering on our mine plans, allowing for the best results and we progress our projects and replace our production and more, with a growing Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource base.
of DSP performance award
Key metrics and related targets 2022
Other related metrics monitored:
Overall portfolio aims are to:
Progress still to be made
Risk 2 — Failure to successfully deliver and ramp up growth projects
Risk 4 — Inability to covert Mineral Resource to Mineral Reserve
Risk 6 — Failure to move down the industry cost curve – all-in sustaining cost competitiveness
Risk 7 — Loss of or threats to the social licence to operate
Risk 8 — Adverse gold and commodity prices, and currency movements
Risk 9 — Inability to meet investor expectations on responsible mining
Our operational performance improved in the year, all the more noteworthy, as it was achieved in a high-inflationary environment which impacted the prices of key commodities, including oil and ammonia-related products, such as explosives. Supply chains also experienced disruptions related to factors impacted by, among other things, the war in Ukraine and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The business worked proactively to mitigate the impact of inflation through the continued integration of the new Operating Model, the existing Operational Excellence programme, and the Full Potential (FP) Programme launched during 2022.
Despite significant volatility in the macro environment, total cash costs increased by 6% year-on-year from $963/oz in 2021 to $1,024/oz in 2022. Production of 2.742Moz came in at the upper half of guidance and represented an 11% increase in production over 2021, underpinned by solid performances across most of the portfolio. In our Africa region, Obuasi met targeted production of 250,000oz as it continues to ramp up to its full production run-rate in excess of 400,000oz, which is expected by the end of 2024 See Regional performance – Africa.
AngloGold Ashanti embarked on a multi-year initiative at the beginning of 2020 to increase investment in Mineral Reserve development and brownfields exploration across our portfolio. Three years into this initiative, a major benefit has been improving grade profile which has been a key driver of the overall increase in production. Recovered grades in 2022 were 10% higher on average versus those of 2021, with those in the fourth quarter of 2022 17% higher than in the first quarter of 2022. See Maintain long-term optionality.
We continue to allocate capital to this important exploration and development programme, in addition to increased capital expenditure on tailings storage facilities (TSF) (mainly in Brazil to comply with new legal requirements). Brazil TSF conversions to dry stacking saw us invest $13m in Q4 2022 and we have spent $221m over the last two years on this important piece of work. See Regional performance – Americas.
Full Potential Programme
Our FP initiative aims to achieve a step-change in AngloGold Ashanti’s operating performance and cost competitiveness by 2024 It involves a comprehensive three-month assessment of each of our operating mine sites, aiming to build on our understanding of the relative potential of each asset.
The initial three-month assessment covers mine design and all key operating parameters to identify any gaps between current and potential performance. It includes developing a plan and implementation schedule that prioritise key improvement initiatives in mine planning and strategy, mine productivity and metallurgical recovery to be implemented to achieve the targeted performance over the next six to 24 months.
These assessments have been completed at six operations – at Sunrise Dam and Tropicana in Australia, at Siguiri in Guinea and Geita in Tanzania, and at AGA Mineração, which includes the Cuiabá and Córrego do Sítio complexes, and Serra Grande, both in Brazil.
The FP at Sunrise Dam in Australia was completed first. The biggest opportunity identified was to increase productivity in development and achieve a step-change in underground production. The Sunrise Dam leadership team has made good progress and has consistently achieved rates of over 1,100m per month since July 2022.
This target has been increased to 1,200m per month for 2023, and Sunrise Dam is starting to see higher ore production at ca.200,000 tonnes per month. Another key initiative is increasing plant metallurgical recovery rates through optimised cyanide and reagent usage and better leaching efficiency.
The second site to complete an assessment was Siguiri, in Guinea, where the leadership team’s focus was mainly on increasing the volume of high-grade oxide ore from Block 2. This increase was successful and is partially reflected in the year-on-year increase in production.
The assessments continued during the second half of 2022, and Cuiabá, Tropicana, Serra Grande and Geita all completed assessments to identify performance improvement initiatives.
- Increasing development rates across underground operations to promote mining flexibility and greater ore volumes
- Increasing open pit output through better maintenance practices, improving drill productivity to maximise penetration rates, improving truck productivity by reducing off-circuit travel through in-pit refuelling and enforcing the use of in-circuit crib facilities
- Increasing throughput in processing plants by improving availability, and increasing metallurgical recoveries by optimising leaching circuits
- Reducing pricing of goods through competitive tendering as commodity prices drop
The leadership teams have identified 185 opportunities across the six operations that have completed the FP, all with clear implementation plans and timelines for delivery.
FP assessments will be conducted at Cerro Vanguardia in Argentina in the second quarter of 2023, with those at Obuasi and Iduapriem in Ghana scheduled for the second half of the year. The FP initiative will be completed by the end of 2023.