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AngloGold, Iamgold to sell stake in Mali’s Sadiola mine

Sadiola gold mine is located in southwest Mali. (Image courtesy of IAMGOLD)

South Africa’s AngloGold Ashanti (JSE:ANG) (NYSE:AU), the world’s third-biggest producer of the precious metal, and its joint venture partner IAMGOLD, are selling their 82% stake in the Sadiola project in Mali to Australia’s Allied Gold Corp for $105 million.

The mine, one of the three assets AngloGold Ashanti put on the chopping block this year and IAMGOLD’s founding asset, is also owned by the Mali’s government, which has an 18% interest.

Under the deal, which is expected to close by the end of April, both firms will receive a cash dividend of $6.15 million and the government of Mali will receive a cash dividend of $2.7 million.

AngloGold and IAMGOLD each hold 41% in Sadiola mine, with the remaining 18% held by Mali’s government

“This transaction is in line with our disciplined capital allocation strategy as we move to streamline our portfolio and intensify our focus on assets that have potential to build critical mass in the long term,” AngloGold Ashanti chief executive, Kelvin Dushnisky, said in a separate statement.

Dushnisky, who took the helm in September 2018 and previously served as the president and executive director at Barrick, wants to streamline the company’s assets. As part of that plan, he’s also trying to sell Cerro Vanguardia, in Argentina, and Mponeng mine in South Africa.

The sale of Mponeng, the world’s deepest mine, would be the final step in the miner’s withdrawal from South Africa, after it sold and shut other mines in the country to stem losses.

It could also be a precursor to AngloGold moving its primary listing to London or Toronto, though Dushnisky has said the company plans to remain on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

AngloGold accelerated its expansion outside its home country in 2004, when it acquired Ashanti Goldfields, and today operates mines on four continents.

Last week, the company reopened its Obuasi mine in Ghana, where it expects to produce about 350,000 to 400,000 ounces of gold per year for the first ten years.