Integrated report <IR> 2020

Regional review – South Africa

Asset sale

On 12 February 2020, AngloGold Ashanti reached agreement to sell the remaining South African producing assets – Mponeng and Surface Operations – and related liabilities to Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited. The sale was in line with our stated aim to streamline our portfolio and create a more focused business with enhanced operating and financial metrics. On conclusion of the sale, Harmony took full ownership of the assets and associated liabilities on 1 October 2020.

The 2020 information relates to the first nine months of 2020.

South Africa operations [map]

For more detail on the performance at each operation, including their sustainability performance see the <OP>

Following an extensive review and restructuring of this region between 2016 and 2020, the last two remaining operating entities in the region were sold effective 30 September 2020.

West Wits

Mponeng, the world’s deepest gold mine, is in the West Wits mining district southwest of Johannesburg, on the border between Gauteng and North West Province. Mponeng exploits the Ventersdorp Contact Reef via a twin-shaft system at depths of between 2,800m and 3,400m below surface. Ore is treated and smelted at the mine’s gold plant.

Surface Operations

Surface Operations encompasses surface facilities in the West Wits and Vaal River areas. These facilities process and extract gold from marginal ore dumps and tailings storage facilities. Surface Operations includes Mine Waste Solutions (MWS), which operates independently, processing slurry material reclaimed by hydro powered machinery from various tailings storage facilities.

South Africa: Contribution to regional production [chart]
Contribution to group production*

* For 2020, group production includes the
South African operations to September 2020

South Africa: Attributable production (Moz) [chart]
South Africa: Attributable production (Moz) [chart]
South Africa: AIFR [chart]
South Africa: Total cash costs and all-in sustaining costs [chart]

Operational performance


The South Africa region’s operations produced 241,000oz at a total cash cost of $1,149/oz for the nine months to September 2020 compared to 307,000oz produced at a total cash cost of $1,003/ oz for the same period in 2019. The decline in annual production was mainly due to the slow start to the year, a result of poor ground conditions; safety stoppages owing to seismic events and related fatalities; and the national COVID-19-related lockdown implemented at the end of March 2020.


All-in sustaining cost for the South Africa region for the nine months to September 2020 was $1,296/oz, versus $1,156/oz the same period in the prior year. The increase was due to lower gold production, higher royalties, inflationary cost increases for power, labour and consumables, higher hauling contractor costs and IT-related expenditure at surface operations. This was partially offset by favorable by-product contributions, lower sustaining capital expenditure, and the weaker rand against the dollar.

Growth and improvement

Capital expenditure

Total capital spend in South Africa was $34m for the nine months ending September 2020 compared to $44m for the same period in 2019.