Fourth-quarter AHE was $7m, or 2 US cents a share, compared to $295m, or 76 US cents a share in the fourth quarter of 2011. AHE was affected by the lower volumes and higher cash costs during the quarter, reflecting the impact of the strike in South Africa which eroded $208m of earnings and the change-over of the mine development contractor at Obuasi and other factors which had a negative impact.
A strong performance from the Americas region was primarily offset by the strikes in South Africa. Despite challenges faced in South Africa, Standard & Poor's affirmed the investment grade rating on AngloGold Ashanti's publicly traded debt following an extensive review. Major milestones were reached outside of South Africa, most notably the termination of the underground development contract at Obuasi, where sub-par development performance has been identified as a key constraint to the mine's performance in recent years and which had also hurt earnings in the fourth quarter. At Tropicana, 1.0Moz was added to the resource and the group achieved the lowest quarterly All Injury Frequency Rate (AIFR) on record for the organisation at 6.17 per million hours worked.
*Adjusted headline earnings
Certain statements made in this communication, other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, those concerning the economic outlook for the gold mining industry, expectations regarding gold prices, production, cash costs and other operating results, growth prospects and outlook of AngloGold Ashanti's operations, individually or in the aggregate, including the achievement of project milestones, the completion and commencement of commercial operations of certain of AngloGold Ashanti's exploration and production projects and the completion of acquisitions and dispositions, AngloGold Ashanti's liquidity and capital resources and capital expenditure and the outcome and consequence of any potential or pending litigation or regulatory proceedings or environmental issues, are forward-looking statements regarding AngloGold Ashanti's operations, economic performance and financial condition. These forward-looking statements or forecasts involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause AngloGold Ashanti's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements or forecasts. Although AngloGold Ashanti believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements or forecasts are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Accordingly, results could differ materially from those set out in the forward-looking statements as a result of, among other factors, changes in economic, social, political and market conditions, success of business and operating initiatives, changes in the regulatory environment and other government actions including environmental approvals, fluctuations in gold prices and exchange rates, and business and operational risk management. For a discussion of certain of these and other factors, refer to AngloGold Ashanti's annual report for the year ended 31 December 2011, which was distributed to shareholders on 4 April 2012, the company's 2011 annual report on Form 20-F, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States on 23 April 2012 and the prospectus supplement to the company's prospectus dated July 17, 2012 that was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 25, 2012. These factors are not necessarily all of the important factors that could cause AngloGold Ashanti's actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Other unknown or unpredictable factors could also have material adverse effects on future results. Consequently, stakeholders are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. AngloGold Ashanti undertakes no obligation to update publicly or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after today's date or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except to the extent required by applicable law. All subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to AngloGold Ashanti or any person acting on its behalf are qualified by the cautionary statements herein.
This communication may contain certain "Non-GAAP" financial measures. AngloGold Ashanti utilises certain Non-GAAP performance measures and ratios in managing its business. Non-GAAP financial measures should be viewed in addition to, and not as an alternative for, the reported operating results or cash flow from operations or any other measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. In addition, the presentation of these measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures other companies may use.
AngloGold Ashanti posts information that is important to investors on the main page of its website at www.anglogoldashanti.com and under the "Investors" tab on the main page. This information is updated regularly. Investors should visit this website to obtain important information about AngloGold Ashanti.
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Stewart Bailey (US)
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Sabrina Brockman (US & Canada)
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+1 646 379 2555
Mike Bedford (UK & Europe)
+44 779 497 7881
Fundisa Mgidi (SA)
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