Obuasi, May 23, GNA-The AngloGold Ashanti produced a total of 6.052 million ounces of gold from 22 operations in 11 countries last year. The performance represented eight per cent increase over the previous year's production of 5.62 million ounces.
According to the company's 2004 report released to the press at Obuasi, the increase over that of 2003 was largely due to the combination of business by AngloGold and Ashanti Goldfields in April last year.
The report said the highest production of 3.079 million ounces was recorded in South Africa, with Zimbabwe producing 9,000 ounces as the least production. The Freda-Rebecca mine in that country was sold out during that year.
Countries where production were above 400,000 ounces were Mali, Tanzania, Ghana and Australia.
The report said a total of 2,396 million dollars was generated as gold income for the year as against 2,029 million dollars gained in 2003.
Highlighting the economic performance of the company, the report indicated that 860 million dollars was used for the payment of employees including salaries, wages and other benefits as against 660 million dollars spent in the previous year.
"Capital expenditure during the 2004 financial year totalled 585 million dollars. Of this, 329 million dollars representing 56 per cent was for maintenance capital expenditure and 256 million dollars was used on new projects".
The report said: "With the business combination of the operation of AngloGold Ashanti complete, overall production is forecast to rise by approximately eight per cent to 6.5 million ounces. Most of this increased production is expected to come from Obuasi in Ghana, Mponeng in South Africa, Geita in Tanzania, the Malian operations Sadiola and Yatela and Siguiri in Guinea".
"In line with this, it has been estimated that capital expenditure will increase by 12 per cent to 655 million dollars".
It said exploration expenditure took 81 million dollars since the exploration programme formed the integral part of the company's growth strategy aimed at sustaining or expanding existing operations.
The 2004 report to society presented a review of the company's economic, social and environmental impact and obligations for that year.