AngloGold mines on the mend – CEO

AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU) CEO, Mark Cutifani, reassured investors on Thursday the firm would turn the corner after several strikes in the mining sector left it with major losses.

“We will come out stronger than we were,” he told reporters in a webcast conference.

South Africa's largest gold miner by output reported a dramatic 49% drop in third quarter earnings due to labour turmoil in the country’s sector. It also announced that operations were back to normal at all but one of its facilities.

The mining company posted adjusted earnings of $235 million for the third quarter ending September 30.

Overall production in the quarter was primarily affected by the strikes at the company's six South African mines which led to a full production stoppage, said AngloAshanti in a press release.

Production at its Obuasi mine in Ghana was also lower than anticipated.

To maintain the company’s balance sheet flexibility, AngloGold Ashanti reduced its capital expenditure budget for this year by $200 million.

As of November 2, strikes at the mines had lost AngloGold Ashanti about 250,000oz of gold production.

This, said the miner, resulted in a slow ramp-up of production in the fourth quarter.

“It’s been a tough period for the industry here, but we’ve taken decisive action on a number of fronts to stay the course,” said Cutifani.

The executive added the major projects are on track and that the company is making decisions to ensure it maintains “a lean, fit business that will continue delivering strong returns.”

Image of Mark Cutifani speaking to ICOSAmagazine in March 2012