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29.10.2004 Business & Finance

Anglogold Ashanti sees higher production

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Accra, Oct. 29, GNA - Anglogold Ashanti said on Friday that it posted a nine per cent increase in production to 1.628 million ounces in the quarter ended September 30.

A statement issued in Accra said adjusted headline earnings decreased by 16 per cent to 43 million dollars due to cost increases in the quarter.

The average spot gold price rose by two per cent to 402 dollars per ounce.

"Together with a negative variance in inventory, this had produced an adjusted operating profit of 98 million dollars for the quarter," the statement quoted the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Bobby Godsell as saying.

He said operations in North and South America produced well, while in general South African mines put in a good performance. "Management's concern and attention remained firmly focused on Obuasi in Ghana, Morila in Mali and Geita in Tanzania," Mr Godsell said. Total cash costs rose by five per cent to 272 dollars per ounce due mainly to continued strengthening of operating currencies and the effects of inflation.

"The highest oil prices in many years, strengthening currencies in most of the countries where the company operated and contractor mining cost pressures all contributed," Mr Godsell said. He held out high hopes for the metal saying: "We continue to be very positive about the prospects for the gold price, and will continue to reduce the level of hedging in the combined Anglogold Ashanti hedge book."

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