Tropicana goldmine ahead of schedule despite $500m cost-cutting drive
The world's third-largest gold producer, AngloGold Ashanti, will bring its West Australian mine into production ahead of schedule, despite pushing ahead with an overall plan to cut costs by $US500 million ($556 million).
While fellow goldminers are delaying projects due to a weaker price and higher costs, AngloGold Ashanti executive vice-president Graham Ehm said two of the company's mines would begin producing this year.
The Tropicana joint venture in Western Australia is slightly ahead of schedule and the Kibali joint venture in the Democratic Republic of Congo would come online later in the year, he said.
"We expect the first gold at Tropicana to occur this quarter," Mr Ehm told the Diggers and Dealers conference.
"Together these projects will add an attributable 550,000 to 600,000 ounces of production."
If developed to its full potential, Tropicana could become one of Australia's top five goldmines, in terms of gold production volumes.
The company, which also has major assets in South Africa, is not immune from the industry downturn, reporting a 47 per cent fall in 2012 net profit to $US830 million. AngloGold Ashanti's plans to cut $US500 million in costs will include shedding around 27 local jobs over the next year.