Integrated Annual Review 2012 Annual Financial Report 2012 Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Regional overview  
 

5.1.2 Regional operational performance

This section provides a high-level overview of regional performance. For comprehensive detail around performance at both regional- and operational level, please see our online Regional Overviews (accessible via the links marked below).

Australasia

During 2012, production in our Australasia Region declined by 32,200 ounces to 626,400 ounces (2011: 658,600 ounces). Key dynamics that accounted for this performance included:

  • Lower-grade ore mined from the open-pits at St Ives
  • Poor ground conditions at the Main Lode at Agnew impacting production

The regional NCE margin decreased to 11% (2011: 23%), primarily due to:

  • Decreased mining volumes at St Ives open pits
  • Poor ground conditions at Agnew that slowed the mining rate – partly off-set by a marked recovery in production in the second half of the year
  • Higher costs relating to owner-mining conversion at St Ives’ open pits
Magnifying Online information: Regional Overview – Australasia

Causeway to the Invincible ore deposit at
St Ives, Australia
Causeway to the Invincible ore deposit at St Ives, Australia

South Africa

During 2012, production in our South Africa Region fell to 1,494,000 ounces (2011: 1,720,000 ounces). Key dynamics that accounted for this performance included:

  • Stable production during the first half of the year (relating to improved grades) marking an end to the declining general production trend of previous years
  • Illegal strike action at the KDC and Beatrix mines (p139), which resulted in 145,000 ounces of lost production
  • A fatal, underground fire in workedout areas at KDC’s Ya Rona shaft, resulting in 30,000 ounces of lost production (p86)
  • Slightly lower grade ore mined at South Deep

The regional NCE margin (excluding South Deep) decreased to 16% (2011: 23%), primarily due to:

  • Decreased production
  • Higher operating costs, including an effective 21% increase in electricity tariffs (p83)
  • Other rising input costs, including wage rises that once again exceeded inflation and were not accompanied by labour productivity increases
Magnifying Online information: Regional Overview – South Africa

Mechanised drilling at South Deep, South Africa
Mechanised drilling at South Deep, South Africa

South America

During 2012, managed production in our South America Region fell to 342,100 gold-equivalent ounces (2011: 383,100 gold-equivalent ounces). Key dynamics that accounted for this performance included:

  • The negative impact of an unfavourable gold to copper price ratio in 2012 (4.77) compared to the previous year (5.66)

The regional NCE margin fell to 52% (2011: 60%), primarily due to:

  • Anticipated lower gold and copper grades
  • Increased plant repair costs
  • Higher deferred stripping costs
  • Higher capital expenditure relating to the construction of the tailings storage facility and plant optimisation
Magnifying Online information: Regional Overview – South America

Mills at Cerro Corona, Peru
Mills at Cerro Corona, Peru

West Africa

During 2012, managed production in our West Africa Region fell to 885,200 ounces (2011: 935,000 ounces). Key dynamics that accounted for this performance included:

  • Temporary suspension of heap leach operations at our Tarkwa mine, following a directive from Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (p91)
  • Mining restrictions imposed by safety concerns in the higher-grade parts of the Damang pit – including potential risks around the southern interface with the Juno pit and deteriorating ground conditions on the east wall
  • Incidents of decreased Carbon in Leach (CIL) processing plant throughput, lower head grades and harder ore at Tarkwa
  • Transition of Damang from the mature Damang pit into the developing Huni and Juno pits – including lower than expected grades despite aggressive waste stripping
  • Unplanned plant stoppages at Damang

The regional NCE margin declined to 31% (2011: 39%), primarily due to:

  • Lower gold production
  • Lower ore stockpiles available for processing at the South Heap Leach facility at Tarkwa
  • Gold in process valuation movements at our heap leach facilities at Tarkwa
  • A 22% year-on-year increase in mining volumes, principally in waste volumes necessary to expose ore for the future
Magnifying Online information: Regional Overview – West Africa

Digging at Tarkwa, Ghana
Digging at Tarkwa, Ghana