Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, CEO AngloGold Ashanti. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, CEO AngloGold Ashanti. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

ANGLOGOLD Ashanti has suspended the search for partnerships at its Obuasi mine in Ghana and its exploration project in Colombia, said CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan.

Last year, Mr Venkatakrishnan outlined a programme to cut debt and restructure the company’s asset portfolio, as one of the world’s major gold miners deepened its focus on profit margins rather than output.

Speaking at the Mining Indaba, Mr Venkatakrishnan said AngloGold had decided to suspend the search for a partner for its exploration project in Colombia, which is nearly at a point to start developing a mine.

"Colombia is a highly prospective region for us but current market conditions do not lend themselves to conclude a partnership at this stage, so we are focused on reducing the spend while we move the project up the value curve," he said.

The Obuasi mine, which has been put on care and maintenance after making heavy losses for a number of years, remains "top of our to-do list," Mr Venkatakrishnan said.

An attempt to develop a partnership at Obuasi with Randgold Resources, which is AngloGold’s partner at mines in Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo, failed.

Randgold CEO Mark Bristow said at a results presentation earlier this week the mine, despite having world-class resources, could not be developed into a world-class mine and did not meet Randgold’s investment hurdle rates.

AngloGold has started talks with the Ghanaian government to secure an investment agreement and will complete work on a feasibility study into restarting the mine before resuming the search for a partner, said Mr Venkatakrishnan.