AngloGold Ashanti shares fall after first-half profit drop

(Reuters) -AngloGold Ashanti shares fell more than 3% on Friday after the miner reported a 54% decline in half-year profit, mainly due to higher costs and operational disruptions in the first quarter.

The gold miner’s shares were 3.47% lower at 0819 GMT.

The Johannesburg-headquartered company said its headline earnings per share (HEPS)_ – the main profit measure in South Africa – came in at $0.33 in the six months to June 30, down from $0.71 during the same period last year.

Gold production was flat at 1.236 million ounces in the first half, compared to 1.233 million ounces previously, with higher grades helping to offset lower ore tonnages processed in the first quarter in Brazil, Tanzania and Guinea.

AngloGold said it expects to meet its 2023 production target of between 2.45 million ounces and 2.61 million ounces.

“Production is expected to be second-half weighted, with unit costs expected to decline into the second half of

2023,” it said.

Improved second-quarter production across AngloGold’s assets drove a 12% increase in output between April and June.

All-in-sustaining costs rose by 12% year-on-year to $1,587 per ounce in the first half of 2023, compared to $1,418 per ounce in the same period last year, mainly due to higher total cash costs and a planned increase in sustaining capital expenditure.

Higher environmental provisions of $38 million net of tax following the implementation of new legislation in Brazil relating to the management of mineral waste storage facilities also impacted earnings.

AngloGold’s proposed shift from its primary listing in Johannesburg to New York, with a new corporate base in London, added $14 million to legal and project fees.

AngloGold declared a dividend of $0.04 per share, down from $0.29 per share during the first half of 2022.

(Reporting by Nelson Banya; Editing by Tom Hogue, Stephen Coates and Sharon Singleton)