AngloGold Ashanti confirmed that it is exploring options of either selling or finding a partner for its Cripple Creek & Victor gold mine in Colorado.
Jane Mannon, a spokeswoman for the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining told the Colorado Springs Gazette that the $585 million expansion - including the addition of a leach field, recovery center and mining facility - remains on track for a mid-2016 completion. The expansion is expected to boost the mine's output from 231,000 oz of gold last year to 350,000 oz this year; by the end of 2015, the company expects to boost employment to 600 people, she said.
The company has spent $342 million so far on the expansion and plans to spend $100 million more this year.
The mine's operations will be unaffected while AngloGold explores a sale or partnership, she said.
“It’s a long process,” Mannon said. “We’re continuing business as usual. It doesn’t add any value to anybody if we were to make any drastic changes right now, either for Anglo or for any potential new partners.”
AngloGold has said that a partnership would be its preference, in which the company would maintain management of the mine site, Mannon said. However, she said she didn't know why that was a more attractive option for the company.
The sale or partnership is an attempt by AngloGold to reduce debt at a time of falling gold prices.
A decision on whether the mine will be sold or AngloGold will take on a partner is expected by midyear, coinciding with a meeting of the company's board, Mannon said. It's premature to speculate on what direction AngloGold will go, company officials added.