AngloGold Ashanti reported on February 10, the signing of a binding agreement to sell its Navachab open-pit gold mine in Namibia to QKR Corp. for $110 million. QKR is a private equity company, and purchase of the Navachab mine is its first acquisition. The company’s president, Lloyd Pengilly, is a former Johannesburg gold analyst.
The Navachab mine is AngloGold Ashanti’s only operation in Namibia. It is located about 170 km northwest of Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, and approximately the same distance from the coastal town of Swakopmund. The processing plant has monthly throughput capacity of 120,000 mt and includes crushing, milling, carbon-in-pulp, and electro-winning facilities.
As of December 31, 2012, Navachab had gold mineral resources of 4.41 million oz and gold ore reserves of 2.1 million oz. The mine produced 74,000 oz of gold in 2012 at a cash cost of $929/oz, and for the nine months to September 30, 2013, it produced 46,000 oz of gold at a cash cost of $755/oz. Navachab accounts for less than 2% of AngloGold Ashanti’s total production.
AngloGold Ashanti will receive deferred consideration in the form of a net smelter return (NSR) to be paid quarterly for a period of seven years following the second anniversary of the closing date. The NSR will be determined at 2% of ounces sold by Navachab during a relevant quarter subject to an average gold price of $1,350/oz being achieved and capped at 18,750 oz sold per quarter.
“We are executing on our strategy to focus our efforts on assets of scale that drive value in the business,” said Charles Carter, AngloGold Ashanti executive vice president of strategy and business development. “We’re pleased to have reached agreement to sell Navachab for fair value in the midst of a difficult market. We believe that QKR is the right group to take Navachab forward.”