AngloGold Ashanti reports production, earnings decline in H1 2021 as transitional period continues
(Kitco News) - AngloGold Ashanti (JSE: ANG) (NYSE: AU), one of the largest gold producers globally, today reported that its production for the first six months of 2021 (H1 2021) was 1.200Moz, which is 9% less compared to 1.323Moz produced in H1 2020. The company said that production in H1 2021 was impacted by an estimated 42,000oz due to COVID-19.
All-in sustaining costs were $1,333/oz, compared to $1,002/oz from continuing operations for the corresponding period last year, mainly reflecting higher cash costs, higher sustaining capital expenditure in line with the tailings compliance programme and the planned reinvestment objectives in the portfolio, COVID-19 impacts, stockpile movements and lower gold sold.
For the first half of 2021, the company said it recorded a free cash outflow of $25m, compared to an inflow of $177m (which included cash flow from the discontinued South African assets of $35m) in the same period last year. Free cash flow was impacted by lower gold sold, higher costs, and higher taxes paid.
Adjusted EBITDA decreased by 15% to $876m in the first half of 2021, from $1,035m in the first half of 2020. Basic earnings (profit attributable to equity shareholders) for the six-month period ended 30 June 2021 were $362m, or 86 US cents per share, compared to $382m, or 91 US cents per share, in the first half of 2020.
Headline earnings were $363m, or 87 US cents per share, in the first six months of 2021, compared to $404m, or 97 US cents per share, in the first half of 2020. Adjusted net debt declined by 41% year-on-year to $850m at 30 June 2021, from $1.431bn at 30 June 2020. The company has declared a dividend of 87 ZAR cents per share (approximately 6 US cents per share) for the six months ended 30 June 2021.
AngloGold Ashanti noted that this year and next remain transitional ones for the company, with the higher volumes of waste stripping and underground development accompanied by lower grades and the movements of stockpiles.
The company added that its annual guidance for 2021 has been revised as follows: 2.45Moz to 2.60Moz of production at a total cash cost of $890/oz to $950/oz, AISC of $1,240/oz to $1,340/oz and capital expenditure of $1,030m to $1,190m. Production has been revised to mainly remove the contribution of Obuasi for the second half of 2021.