AngloGold to comply with South Africa mining rights directive

Heavy machinery operator at the Vaal River operation in South Africa. Photo by AngloGold Ashanti.

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. is complying with an order from South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources to amend its mining rights to reflect black economic empowerment, the company’s spokesman Chris Nthite said.

The world’s No. 3. gold producer may have contravened black economic empowerment rules tied to its mining rights when it awarded a 4.5 percent stake to employees instead of 6 percent, City Press reported Sunday. The other 1.5 percent was sold to a firm belonging to company Chairman Sipho Pityana. AngloGold denied there was anything wrong with the two transactions, the paper said.

The department directed the company to amend clauses on two of its mining rights to accurately record the two local ownership deals, Nthite said. “We have submitted an application for consent to amend those clauses accordingly,” the spokesman said. “We were also requested to provide certain information and we have provided the requested information. We have fully complied with the directive.”

Failure to comply with the directive could have placed South Africa-based AngloGold’s mining licences in the country at risk of cancellation, City Press said.

(Reporting by Felix Njini).