Following the suspension of operations in Argentina, Brazil and South Africa due to the the COVID-19 outbreak, AngloGold Ashanti has now restarted production in these countries.
The company’s sole mine in Argentina, Cerro Vanguardia, successfully restarted milling operations on 6 April 2020. The operation has now ramped up capacity and will initially process stockpiles, allowing production to remain near planned levels with a significantly smaller staff complement.
The mining operation had been suspended since 21 March 2020 as a result of countrywide COVID-19 related restrictions on travel and border closings.
In Brazil, at Mineração Serra Grande S.A. (Serra Grande), operations resumed based on the Municipality Decree and Federal Statement (Ordinance) from the Mining Minister.
Ramp up of production began on 5 April 2020 following a suspension that took effect on 27 March 2020 in response to measures taken by local authorities to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The Company’s operations in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil (AGA Mineração) continue as they do in Australia, Tanzania, the DRC, Guinea, Ghana and Mali.
Meanwhile, exploration work in the USA has been suspended for a time.
AngloGold Ashanti has been granted permission by the Department of Mineral Resources & Energy for the limited restart of its Surface Operations in South Africa, which have now recommenced operation on a limited basis. This includes the processing of marginal ore dumps at the West Wits Operations and the reclamation of tailings at the Mine Waste Solutions business unit, in the Vaal River region.
The restart of these operations on 6 April 2020 has been facilitated by about 500 employees, spread across both the West Wits and Vaal River regions. This is less than a third of the usual staff complement for these business units, and roughly 8 per cent of the company’s total South Africa workforce.
The limited restart will help safeguard technical infrastructure and enable a safe and quick resumption of all remaining operations once the lockdown is over.
Production from the Mponeng underground operation remains suspended during the lockdown which is currently expected to continue to 30 April 2020. This is now the only one of AngloGold Ashanti’s 14 operations where production is currently suspended.