We have developed a system – Exploring for value (E4V) – that goes beyond SAMREC limitations to ensure that our exploration activities are focused on maximising value for the business and allow us to bring into play, at an early stage, very low confidence material. This means we can ensure our exploration pipeline can deliver into our life-of-mine (LOM) plans at the right time.
The system allows for an understanding of the geology from the earliest stage of development. In addition to integrating our E4V process with our LOM planning, we have also integrated our E4V process with our accounting standards. Through this integration, as an area is explored and drilled, a series of reviews and appropriate economic studies are used to support the next level of exploration.
Our greenfield exploration programmes are designed to discover a new Mineral Resource that will ultimately lead to the development of new gold mines.
In 2022, $29m was spent on greenfields exploration. Our greenfields exploration tenements cover over 9,500km2 of highly prospective ground in six countries – Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Guinea, Tanzania, and the United States.
The Silicon and Merlin prospects in Nevada were handed over to our Beatty project team, following which the greenfields exploration team refocused its efforts on the discovery of the next significant project to add to the AngloGold Ashanti portfolio.
Brownfields exploration focuses on delivering value through accretive additions to the Ore Reserve at existing mines as well as new discoveries in defined areas around operations.
In the Beatty District, brownfields exploration continued at North Bullfrog and successfully defined and expanded the Silicon and Merlin targets. Elsewhere across our operations, exploration continued to add confidence to the mine plans by upgrading the Mineral Resource and to the search for new Mineral Resource with a high likelihood for conversion to Mineral Reserve.
In 2022, our brownfields exploration teams across the globe completed 799km of capital and 358km of expensed drilling at a cost of $79m and $67m respectively. Drilling started slowly at a few operations but improved as the year progressed to almost reach internal targets.
Brownfields exploration activities resulting in the most notable economic intercepts, by operation, for 2022 are listed below by region.
For more detail on our exploration programmes and related outlook, see the 2022 <IR>: Exploration and planning for the future