For information on the regulatory environment and licence to operate in Mali, refer to the section entitled Regulatory environment enabling AngloGold Ashanti to mine.
The Morila mine is situated some 180km southeast of Bamako, the capital of Mali. Mining of the single open pit was completed in April 2009. The operation is currently treating low-grade stockpiles and will continue to do so until 2013. The plant at Morila, which incorporates a conventional carbon-in-leach (CIL) process with an upfront gravity section to extract the free gold, has throughput capacity of 4.2Mtpa which has been enhanced to 4.3 Mtpa.
The Morila mine is 80% owned by Morila Limited, a joint venture in which AngloGold Ashanti and Randgold Resources Limited each have a 50% stake giving AngloGold Ashanti an effective stake of 40% in Morila. The Government of Mali owns the remaining 20%. Randgold Resources manages the Morila mine.
|Gold production||- 100%||(000oz)||342||425||450|
|Total cash costs||($/oz)||527||419||350|
|Total production costs||($oz)||583||495||421|
|Capital expenditure||- 100%||($m)||10||3||1.3|
|Total number of employees - 100%||1,053||1,703||1,686|
* Open-pit operation
The safety statistics for Morila are reported by Randgold Resources, who operate the mine.
Gold production in 2009 declined 19% to 137,000oz, due mainly to an 81% drop in volumes mined following depletion of the open-pit resource during April and the subsequent treatment of low-grade stockpiles.
Total cash costs increased by 26% to $527/oz, due to the lower level of gold production and significant increases in reagent costs and metallurgical stores.
Overheads at Morila reduced by 20%. Employee numbers at the operation declined because of the cessation of mining and the replacement of the mining contractor with a stockpile rehandling contractor. To ameliorate the impact of the job losses at the mine, Morila collaborated with a micro-finance company to develop and implement a programme to provide capital for those affected by the reduction of the workforce.
Morila invested $10m of stay-in-business capital in 2009, of which $4m was attributable. The major element of this expenditure was the purchase of the mining contractor’s fleet.
From 2010 to the end of the mine’s life, Morila will continue to treat only low-grade ore. Attributable production is expected therefore to decrease.
During 2009, the AngloGold Ashanti’s Mineral Resource & Reserve Committee reviewed exploration activities and the potential of the mine. It supported the recommendation that exploration activities be suspended until understanding of both Reduced Intrusion-Related Gold Systems (RIRGS) and Birimian mineralisation increases to a degree that warrants re-evaluation of existing data and models.
Gold production for 2010 is projected to be in a range of 88,000oz to 92,000oz at a total cash cost of between $761/oz to $797/oz. Capital expenditure is estimated at $1m for 2010.
No significant environmental incidents were reported during the year. The mine was recertified to ISO 14001 during the year.
The bridge over the Bama Koni River, which serves as the main passageway for all communities between Koumantou and Sanso, was renovated by the Morila joint venture during the year. In recognition of this project, the Minister of Mines and the Minister of Infrastructure presided over its opening.
Anti-malaria spraying of the mine camp and surrounding villages continued during the year as part of the ongoing malariacontrol programme.
Sadiola is located in the far southwest of the country of Mali, 77km to the south of the regional capital, Kayes. Sadiola is a joint venture operation in which, just prior to year-end, AngloGold Ashanti and IAMGOLD each had a 38% interest, the Government of Mali, 18%, and the International Finance Corporation, 6%. On 29 December 2009, AngloGold Ashanti and IAMGOLD purchased the 6% stake held by the International Finance Corporation, increasing their respective stakes in Sadiola to 41% each. However, AngloGold Ashanti’s effective stake in Sadiola for the 2009 financial year was 38%.
Mining at Sadiola takes place in five open pits and the ore mined is treated and processed in a carbon-in-pulp (CIP) gold plant with a monthly processing capacity of 363,000t.
|Gold production||- 100%||(000oz)||354||453||369|
|Total cash costs||($/oz)||488||399||414|
|Total production costs||($oz)||571||554||462|
|Capital expenditure||- 100%||($m)||10||8||16|
|Total number of employees||- 100%||1,532||1,510||1,529|
* Open-pit operation
(1) Effective 29 December 2009, AngloGold Ashanti increased its interest from 38% to 41%
There was an improvement in the safety performance at Sadiola in 2009. There were no fatalities and just one lost-time injury, giving a much improved LTIFR for the year of 0.21 per million hours worked (2008: 0.87).
Sadiola received its OHSAS 18001:2007 certification in June 2009. The safety non-conformities reporting system was fully implemented and there was a reduction in the number of serious accidents involving vehicles and heavy machinery.
Attributable production decreased by 22% to 135,000oz, mainly as a result of a 26% decline in the head grade. The decrease in grade was a result of the depletion of the Sadiola main pit reserves and a shift in mining to the lower grade satellite pits. Grade is expected to continue to decline in 2010 after which it will stabilise.
The gravity circuit in the process plant added value to the recovery of difficult high-grade sulphide ore and was also used to treat oxide material. Recoveries of oxide ores improved markedly with soft oxide recoveries reaching 95% compared to 93% previously. Plans are in place to implement a second gravity circuit in early 2010.
Employee numbers increased after recruitment by the exploration and analytical services department, following implementation of an aggressive exploration campaign.
Total cash costs rose by 22% to $488/oz, owing mainly to a 22% decline in production because of the lower grade feed supplied to the process plant and increased mining volumes.
Total capital expenditure for the year was $10m ($4m attributable). Of the total, $4m was spent on the deep sulphide project study and $6m on stay-in-business projects such as infrastructure refurbishment and maintenance.
Sadiola’s future growth is dependent on the success of the deep sulphide project, for which a feasibility study is currently being undertaken. The decision to proceed from pre-feasibility to the feasibility stage was approved by the board in October 2009 with the feasibility study scheduled for completion by October 2010. This project could potentially add 2.9Moz to Sadiola’s current life-of-mine production profile, of which 1.19Moz would be attributable.
Attributable annual production from Sadiola is projected to decline to between 117,000oz and 122,000oz at a total cash cost of between $662/oz and $693/oz. Capital expenditure of $24m ($10m attributable) is planned.
During 2009, there were no significant environmental or community related issues.
Furthermore, the surrounding communities in the adjacent villages expressed their acknowledgement of the contribution made by Sadiola and neighbouring mines during the official ceremonies held by the regional and local authorities at the opening of the water dams which had been financed by Sadiola and Yatela through the Integrated Development Action Plan (IDAP).
Sadiola retained its ISO 14001 certification. It was certified in significant compliance with the Cyanide Code.
The Yatela mine is situated some 25km north of Sadiola and approximately 50km south-southwest of Kayes. Ore extraction is conducted from the Yatela main pit as well as from a satellite pit at Alamoutala. The ore mined is treated by a heap-leach process and the carbon loaded on site. The carbon is then eluted and the gold smelted at nearby Sadiola.
Yatela is 80% owned by the Sadiola Exploration Company Limited, a joint venture in which AngloGold Ashanti and IAMGOLD each have an interest of 50%, giving AngloGold Ashanti an effective stake of 40% in Yatela. The Government of Mali owns the remaining 20% stake in the mine.
|Gold production||- 100%||(000oz)||222||165||301|
|Total cash costs||($/oz)||368||572||322|
|Total production costs||($oz)||455||591||381|
|Capital expenditure||- 100%||($m)||2||8||5|
|Total number of employees - 100%||803||888||903|
* Open-pit operation
Yatela had an exceptional year in terms of safety performance and recorded zero fatalities and zero lost-time injuries which resulted in an LTIFR of 0 per million hours worked for the year (2008: 1.15). This achievement was mainly due to a combined team effort from the whole workforce focusing on the basic safety as well as the full implementation and adherence to the safety system.
OHSAS 18001:2007 certification was achieved in June 2009.
Attributable gold production in 2009 at Yatela rose by 35% to 89,000oz, due mainly to a marked increase in the head grade of stacked ore. The high-grade ore came from the targeted areas at the bottom of push-back 7. Unfortunately, this phase of the mine will be fully depleted early in 2010.
Total cash costs declined by 36% to $368/oz, a result of the significant rise in gold production and improved grades, lower fuel prices and a decrease in mining contractor costs resulting from the renegotiation of the contract and the appointment of a new contractor as from July 2008.
Capital expenditure of $2m ($1m attributable) in 2009 was mostly spent on exploration.
An extensive exploration programme was undertaken during 2009 to investigate ways to extend the life of the mine. Early indications are that additional reserves have been found at both Alamoutala and Yatela which will enable the continuation of the mining operation.
Attributable production at Yatela is projected to be between 60,000oz and 63,000oz in 2010. Total cash costs are expected to increase to between $567/oz and $595/oz. Capital expenditure of $3m ($1m attributable) is planned for additional exploration as well as $3m ($1m attributable) on stay-in-business activities as a result of the life extension.
There were no significant environmental or community issues.
Furthermore, the surrounding communities of the Sekotoko, Kourouketo and Alamoutala villages expressed their acknowledgement of the contribution made by the Sadiola and Yatela mines during the official ceremonies held by the regional and local authorities at the opening of the water dams which had been financed by both operations through the Integrated Development Action Plan (IDAP).
Yatela obtained full ICMI accreditation in terms of the international cyanide management code in August 2009 and retained its ISO 14001 accreditation in November 2009.