South Africa's AngloGold Ashanti, the world's third biggest gold producer, said on Friday it planned to raise R13,48-billion through a rights offer of new stock. The mining group said it had finalised terms of the offer and shareholders had approved the issue of up to 71-million shares.
South Africa's mining industry could lose up to R9,2-billion in revenue and the country's GDP could take a knock of up to R5,6-billion as a result of the power restrictions imposed on mines by Eskom last week. T-Sec economist Mike Schussler estimates that the mining industry is losing about R330-million in revenues a day.
South African mining companies hope to resume production later this week after being allowed to carry out underground maintenance work in mines across the country that have been crippled by a power crisis. Analysts estimated that hundreds of millions of rand had already been lost as the halt on mining entered its fourth day on Monday.
The deaths of four miners in a rockfall forced a halt to production at AngloGold Ashanti's Mponeng underground mine on Monday while safety checks were carried out, the company said. Increasing deaths at South Africa's deep and treacherous underground mines have thrust safety into the spotlight in a country where about 200 miners are killed in accidents every year.
Due to the country's power supply crisis, AngloGold Ashanti expected a reduction of approximately 400Â 000 ounces of gold in 2008. Diamond, gold and platinum mines in South Africa shut down production for just under a week in late January because of safety considerations.
Randgold Resources said 2007 net profit fell 10% as costs rose, but the African gold producer said on Monday that a buoyant gold price should boost this year's earnings. "On a before-tax basis at $900 gold, we'll get up to an 80% odd increase in our profits for the full year," said chief executive Mark Bristow.
AngloGold Ashanti, the world's third biggest gold producer, reported flat third-quarter headline earnings per share on Thursday after costs rose, undermining an increase in gold output. AngloGold's new chief executive officer Mark Cutifani said the firm was reviewing its operations with a view to disposing of assets that did not add value