AngloGold Ashanti posted on Monday higher first-quarter earnings, driven by stronger gold prices, despite a dip in production due to the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Johannesburg-listed miner reported headline earnings for the three months ended March 31 of $203 million, up 42% compared with $143 million a year earlier.
Firmer bullion prices have boosted the profit of miners, with the company receiving an average gold price of $1,788 per ounce during the quarter.
Production during the reported quarter dropped 7% to 588,000 ounces, compared with a year-ago period, while all-in sustaining costs increased to $1,287 per ounce from $1,021 per ounce a year earlier.
The pandemic accounted for a loss in production of around 4,000 ounces and an estimated $29 per ounce of all-in sustaining costs during the quarter, said the miner, which operates in Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea, and Tanzania, as well as Australia and South America.
However, production at its Obuasi mine in Ghana, which poured its first gold in 2019 after being placed on care and maintenance, climbed 53% to 46,000 ounces during the first quarter, compared with the fourth quarter of 2020 as its redevelopment project reached 97% completion.
The gold miner said this year and 2022 would be key investment years as it plans to boost output from Brownfields projects and add additional reserves from exploration done last year.
(By Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Kim Coghill and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)