AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi mine is expected to ramp-up its mining rate from 2,000 tonnes per day to 4,000 tonnes per day in the first quarter of next year.
This is due to slower shipments of certain equipment to Ghana and difficulties in ensuring key, skilled employees can travel to the site amidst COVID-19-related border closures.
The project, it stated, remains on budget.
AngloGold Ashanti said it has taken a pragmatic approach in limiting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations by building inventories of critical spares and ore stockpiles to improve the ability to respond to operational disruptions.
It has also implemented innovative relief interventions across all host countries, working closely with governments, peers, and communities to help slow the spread of the pandemic.
In its Quarter One financial statement, adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Adjusted EBITDA) jumped 54% to US$473m while free cash flow, before capital expenditure on growth projects, soared by 231% to US$94m.
Free cash flow improvements were achieved despite higher capital expenditure, with growth investment of US$90 million — principally at the Obuasi project as its redevelopment continued and outstanding cash balances available of US$252m awaiting repatriation from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The company bolstered its available liquidity to more than US$2bn, improved leverage and more than trebled first-quarter cash flow from operating activities as key mines delivered solid performances.