SOURCE: AngloGold Ashanti

AngloGold Ashanti

October 22, 2012 06:47 ET

AngloGold Ashanti Ultimatum to Workers on Unprotected Strike

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - Oct 22, 2012) - AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU) has done its utmost over the past month to work towards a mutually agreeable solution to the unprotected strike at the company's Vaal River and West Wits operating units. The strike has cost approximately 32,000oz a week in lost production.

The company has engaged with striking workers in a respectful and honest way throughout this period, despite the fact that the work stoppage is unprocedural and unprotected. AngloGold Ashanti has continued to seek dialogue and compromise, including the offer of a fair and reasonable salary package improvement through the established bargaining system agreed between elected representatives of organised labour and South Africa's major gold producers, and facilitated by the Chamber of Mines.

The action has been conducted largely in a peaceful manner on AngloGold Ashanti's mines, with minimal injury to people and damage to property. Nonetheless, AngloGold Ashanti's management remains concerned about the level of intimidation which appears to be prevalent during the recent illegal strike actions.

It is gratifying to note that initial indications are that employees have begun returning at the Kopanang and Great Noligwa operations and metallurgical plants in the Vaal River region.

However, employees at the balance of the operations appear to have rebuffed these efforts at resolution. Meanwhile, conditions of the ore bodies and underground infrastructure across these ultra-deep operations have continued to deteriorate, raising the risk that portions of these mines will be sterilised and jobs permanently lost. The point has now been reached where further steps must be taken to try break the deadlock and encourage a rapid return to normal operations.

As such, AngloGold Ashanti is today issuing a final call for all workers to return to work by 12h00 on Wednesday, 24 October 2012. Those who return to work by this time will receive the improved wage offer which has been communicated to all members of the workforce directly by AngloGold Ashanti and separately by elected union representatives.

Those who do not present themselves for work by 12h00 on Wednesday 24 October will be dismissed.

"Failure to return to work, in order that we resume normal operations, will result in the issue of notices of dismissal to any and all employees who have not complied with the ultimatum," Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani said. "It is regretful that matters have reached this stage, with job losses now being threatened and livelihoods for thousands of families being placed at risk."

    Conference Call

AngloGold Ashanti will host a conference call to provide an update on the strike activity at 4pm today, Monday 22 October, at 4pm, Johannesburg time. (10am EST, 3pm BST). Please see details below:

-----------------------------------------------------------
South Africa (Toll-Free)                     0 800 200 648
-----------------------------------------------------------
South Africa - Johannesburg                  011 535 3600
-----------------------------------------------------------
South Africa - Johannesburg Alternate        010 201 6616
-----------------------------------------------------------
UK (Toll-Free)                               0808 162 4061
-----------------------------------------------------------
UK Alternative (Toll-Free)                   0 800 917 7042
-----------------------------------------------------------
Canada (Toll-Free)                           1 866 605 3852
-----------------------------------------------------------
USA (Toll)                                   412 858 4600
-----------------------------------------------------------
USA (Toll-Free)                              1 800 860 2442
-----------------------------------------------------------

    About AngloGold Ashanti's South African Operations

AngloGold Ashanti's South Africa operations accounted for approximately 32% of total group production during the first half of the year. Approximately 35,000 people are employed across AngloGold Ashanti's South African operations. This figure is inclusive of contractors and those working on two major capital projects under way at the Moab Khotsong and Mponeng mines.

AngloGold Ashanti is a member of the gold industry's collective wage bargaining unit at the Chamber of Mines and as such is committed to addressing demands regarding pay and other substantive issues through this framework. At present, the gold industry is in the second year of a two-year wage agreement with the latest increases, ranging from 8% to 10%, awarded to the workforce in July, under the agreement reached in 2011. A similar increase was awarded last year. South Africa's annual Consumer Price Inflation is currently 5% in August.

SPONSOR: UBS South Africa (Pty) Limited

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, any plan regarding the restructuring of any of AngloGold Ashanti's operations, 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 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. Although AngloGold Ashanti believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements 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 and actions, 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.

Contact Information

  • Contacts

    Media

    Alan Fine
    +27-11 637-6383
    +27 (0) 83 250 0757
    Email Contact

    Chris Nthite
    +27 (0) 11 637 6388
    +27 (0) 83 301 2481
    Email Contact

    Stewart Bailey
    +1 646 338 4337
    +1 212 858-7702
    +27 83 253 2021
    Email Contact

    General inquiries
    +27 11 637 6031
    Email Contact

    Investors
    Stewart Bailey
    +1 646 338 4337
    +1 212 858-7702
    +27 83 253 2021
    Email Contact

    Sabrina Brockman (US & Canada)
    +1 (212) 858 7702
    +1 646 379 2555
    Email Contact

    Mike Bedford (UK & Europe)
    +44 779 497 7881
    +44 1225 93 8483
    Email Contact

    General inquiries
    +27 11 637 6059
    Email Contact