South African mining company Ashanti Gold has announced it will sell its gold and silver mine Cerro Vanguardia, located about 150 kilometers (km) northwest of Puerto San Julián, Argentina. After 20 years of mining activity, the mine is in a state of declining production, the company said. The mine is 92.5% owned by AngloGold Ashanti, while the remaining 7.5% is owned by Fomicruz Sociedad Estatal.

Estimations conducted by mining experts indicate that Cerro Vanguardia will no longer be profitable in 2020. Therefore, the province had launched a joint plan with private investors to try to extend this by four or five more years. The anticipated departure of AngloGold now generates uncertainty with respect to the provincial plan and the continuity of the mine itself.

Meanwhile, Ashanti Gold is continuing with a feasibility study for Quebradona, a joint venture with B2Gold in Colombia. The project study, which has reserves of 1.26 million tons of copper and 2.22 million ounces of gold, is expected to be completed by 2020.

“It should not surprise anyone that we decide to bring a partner to a project like Quebradona, and, if we do, it would probably be a partner that has experience in copper operations and development,” said the company CEO, Kelvin Dushnisky.