- North Bullfrog(1) / Silicon, Mother Lode(1)/ Sterling (2)
- Colombia, Gramalote (50%)(3) / La Colosa / Quebradona
- Argentina, Cerro Vanguardia (92.5%)
- Brazil, Serra Grande
- Brazil, AGA Mineração
- North Bullfrog and Mother Lode acquired on acquisition of Corvus Gold in January 2022
- Sterling, which includes the Crown Block deposit, acquired on acquisition of Coeur Sterling in November 2022
- Managed by B2Gold
Our operations and projects in the Americas
The Americas host three of our operations – one in Argentina and two in Brazil – as well as two greenfields projects in Colombia and a significant greenfields development in Nevada in the United States.
The operations in Brazil and Argentina added 569,000oz to Group production in 2022, 21% of total ounces produced.
At the end of 2022, our Americas region accounted for 3.0Moz (10%) of the total Mineral Reserve and 16.8Moz (13%) of the total Mineral Resource, with our projects in Colombia and Nevada accounting for 4.2Moz (14%) and 46.4Moz (35%) respectively.
The operating sites are in Argentina (Cerro Vanguardia) and Brazil (Serra Grande and the AGA Mineração operation which comprises the Cuiabá and Córrego do Sítio (CdS) mining complexes).
In Colombia, the portfolio includes the Quebradona and Gramalote projects in the department of Antioquia. The La Colosa project, in the department of Tolima, remains in force majeure. In the United States, the greenfields concessions – which include adjacent assets acquired with the Corvus and Coeur’s Sterling acquisitions – are in the Beatty District in southern Nevada. Exploration is ongoing with the prospect of first production in 2025.
The Americas operations employed an average of 9,498 in 2022 (2021: 9,972 people), of whom 3,405 were contractors (2021: 3,520).
- America’s production increased by 2% year-on-year with stronger performances across the region in the second half of the year
- At Cerro Vanguardia, higher production was mainly driven by improved grades
- Invested $83m in the conversion of our Brazil TSFs to dry stacking in 2022, bringing the total invested over the past three years to $244m
- Acquired of Corvus and Sterling to enhance our footprint in Beatty district, Nevada
- Reduced ore volumes processed at AGA Mineração led to a decline in production. This was partly offset by higher grades recovered.
- Completed a strategic review of the CdS mining complex and elected to retain the asset. The management team will focus on rebasing the mine plan to return the operation to a cash neutral position in 2023, and to generate positive cash flow in the medium term
- Suspended tailings deposition at the Calcinados TSF and processing from the Queiroz plant, which service the Cuiabá complex, until completion of a buttressing programme on the TSF
- Plant throughput being closely monitored to keep within permitted tailings limits
Performance summary 2022
- Production for the year was 569,000oz (2021: 559,000oz) achieved at a total cash cost of $1,078/oz (2021: $917/oz)
- All-in sustaining cost of $1,718/oz, up 9% year-on-year (2021: $1,582/oz)
- Safety – no occupational fatalities at Company-operated mines and the TRIFR improved to 2.33 per million hours worked (2021: 3.55)
- Community investment amounted to $6.43m (2021: $5.8m)
- All American operations maintained their certification in terms of International Cyanide Management Code, ISO 45000 (health and safety) and ISO 14001 (environmental management)
- Regional capital expenditure of $322m (2021: $346m) – 29% of total capital expenditure (2021: 31%) – was as follows: Cerro Vanguardia $66m (2021: $69m); AGA Mineração $199m (2021: $195m); Serra Grande $57m (2021: $82m)
- Capital expenditure on projects totalled $17m, $16m in Colombia (2021: $52m) and $1m in the United States (2021: 0)
At the AGA Mineração mining complex in Brazil, gold production was down year-on-year, mainly due to lower ore volumes processed that were partly offset by higher grades recovered.
At Serra Grande, gold production improved in the period due to higher recovered grades.
In Argentina, Cerro Vanguardia’s production was higher owing to a combination of improved ore volumes processed and higher recovered grades.
In Colombia, after the national environmental licensing agency’s (ANLA’s) decision in November 2021 to archive our environmental licence application relating to the Quebradona project, we filed an appeal seeking to secure further details on the specific additional information ANLA would require in order to be able to make a decision on our licence submission. In April 2022, we were informed ANLA had denied the appeal and had confirmed the decision to archive the application.
We are preparing a new Environmental Impact Statement which we expect to submit with the licence application.
The Gramalote project in Colombia, a joint venture between AngloGold Ashanti and B2Gold Corp, was completed. Both partners determined that the Gramalote project does not meet their investment thresholds for development. After a review it was decided that it would be in the best interest of all stakeholders for a new party to own the Gramalote project. The partners appointed a corporate advisor in the fourth quarter of 2022 to assist with the sale process.
TSFs in Brazil – an update
A raft of new tailings-related legislation and regulation has been introduced in Brazil over the past four years. Additional tailingsrelated regulations introduced in 2022 required us to carry out a new detailed risk assessment of our TSF portfolio. This assessment was conducted using internationally recognised methodology and facilitated by external consultants.
One of the findings of this assessment was to increase the buttressing of the Calcinados TSF to align its post liquefaction factor of safety with the standard applied in Canada, which is currently considered best practice. We plan to proceed with this buttressing programme and have suspended the processing of gold concentrate at the Queiroz plant and of filtered tailings deposition on the Calcinados TSF, which both service the Cuiabá mine complex, until the buttressing is complete.
It is important to note that the operational and structural integrity of the Calcinados TSF remains safe and stable, per the conclusions of our risk assessments by both external consultants and our own TSF team. The facility’s factors of safety – in both a drained and undrained state – are fully compliant with relevant Brazilian operating regulations.
Information on the timeline for the completion of this buttressing programme is expected to be provided after engineering and geotechnical work has been completed by external consultants.
In the meantime, mining of ore is continuing at both mines. During this period, we expect that the site will continue to extract gold from the gravity circuit at a rate of 5,000oz on average per month and will produce gold in concentrate at an average of approximately 10,000oz per month, with options being assessed to sell gold concentrate until the Queiroz plant resumes operations.
Our Nevada properties have significant potential, with a possible Mineral Resource of more than 10Moz. We declared a Mineral Resource of 8.4Moz at 31 December 2022, having declared a firsttime Mineral Resource at North Bullfrog, Mother Lode and Sterling. Following the consolidation of the property in Nevada, the Beatty District is an area of great potential for AngloGold Ashanti.
We are working to incorporate the Merlin property that, together with Silicon, will likely sit at the heart of this region. We are targeting first production in about 2025 and see production rising to more than 300,000oz within the decade, for around 20 years, at an AISC in the high $900/oz. This will see the development of a low-cost, long-life Nevada production base in the medium term.
See Maintain long-term optionality in this report for additional insight into our projects.
For performance data by operation, see <OP>
Outlook for 2023
- Given the suspension of tailings deposition at the Calcinados TSF plant, we plan to produce around 5,000oz of gravity gold monthly and to increase concentrate production to about 10,000oz a month. Options currently being assessed for the sale of gold concentrate until the Queiroz plant resumes operation
- The FP programme initiatives implemented at Cuiabá have seen ore tonnes consistently above full potential target – this is expected to continue into 2023
- At Serra Grande, the FP team identified several enhancement opportunities and it is following implementation plans with timelines for delivery
- At the Nevada project, the North Bullfrog feasibility study is due to be completed in the first half of 2023 while the permitting process is ongoing. At Silicon, a pre-feasibility study incorporating the Merlin ground has started