AngloGold Ashanti’s board of directors has approved investments totaling $1.9 billion over the next five years to expand its Cripple Creek & Victor (CC&V) mine in Colorado, USA, and to develop the Mongbwalu and Kibali projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The projects will be funded internally and are expected to contribute additional annual production of more than 500,000 oz of gold to AngloGold Ashanti.
At CC&V, expansion at a capital cost of approximately $557 million over the next five years is expected to help boost the mine’s production to more than 400,000 oz/y from the 267,000 oz produced in 2011. In tandem with a further mine-life-extension project targeted for the end of the decade, AngloGold Ashanti expects the mine to produce at the 400,000-oz/y-level until at least 2025, after which production is anticipated to remain around at least 350,000 oz/y for approximately another 10 years.
CC&V is a surface mining operation that delivers ore to one of the world’s largest crusher and valley-leach facilities. Production began in 1994. The property also has significant underground potential, which will be accessed for exploration as part of the current development project.
Kibali is a joint venture development project in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (E&MJ, May 2012, p. 18). The plus-10-million-oz gold deposit is owned by Randgold Resources (45%), AngloGold Ashanti (45%), and the Congolese parastatal, Sokimo (10%). Randgold is the project manager and operator. The mine is expected to pour its first gold at the end of 2012 and to produce at a rate of about 600,000 oz/y for the first decade of its life.
Mongbwalu is also a joint venture in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. AngloGold Ashanti holds an 86.22% stake, and Sokimo owns the balance. AngloGold Ashanti has made an initial investment of $345 million in the project, which will deliver average production of about 130,000 oz in each of its first three years of operation. AngloGold Ashanti plans to build the underground project quickly and then expand the operation rapidly from internally driven cash flow, allowing economies of scale to be realized.
The early works program at the Mongbwalu site progressed to schedule during the first quarter of 2012, with 20% of road construction completed and long-lead mill and mobile equipment items ordered. First gold production is scheduled for the beginning of 2014.