(Recasts to add AngloGold Ashanti saying government approval is “unconditional”)
JOHANNESBURG, Sept 14 (Reuters) - AngloGold Ashanti said on Monday that the South African government had given “unconditional” approval for the sale of its South African assets to Harmony Gold, indicating it may be able to delist from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
South Africa’s mines ministry had initially approved the sale on the condition that AngloGold Ashanti does not delist from the JSE.
AngloGold - which has mines in several other African countries as well as Brazil, Argentina, and Australia - had said in February it would consider moving its primary listing as it streamlines its portfolio.
In August, however, the company said moving the listing was no longer a priority amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Harmony Gold said separately on Monday that the transaction, agreed in February but delayed by the pandemic, is scheduled to close on Sept. 30, with Harmony taking control of the mines including Mponeng - the world’s deepest gold mine - and Mine Waste Solutions, from Oct. 1.
Christine Ramon, interim CEO of AngloGold Ashanti, said: “While the decision to sell our South African assets was not an easy one, we are pleased that the assets are going to Harmony, a capable and responsible operator that will ensure their long-term sustainability.”
Under the deal, Harmony will pay AngloGold Ashanti $200 million in cash as well as $260 per ounce of underground gold production from the Mponeng, Savuka and TauTona mines for six years from January 1 2021 - which AngloGold Ashanti values at around $100 million based on its production forecast. (Reporting by Helen Reid; editing by Jason Neely and Susan Fenton)
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