AngloGold, Sibanye Lose 32,000 Ounces in S. Africa Power Cut

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., the world’s third-largest producer of the metal, and Sibanye Gold Ltd. said they will together lose more than 32,000 ounces of output after a substation fire cut power to some mines in South Africa.

The blaze at the Midas substation near Carletonville, west of Johannesburg, idled AngloGold’s Mponeng and Tau Tona mines and Sibanye’s Driefontein complex from March 13 to March 15, the companies said in separate statements today.

“The total adverse impact from this incident on first-quarter 2013 gold production is likely to be in the region of 20,000 ounces, with consequential impact on unit costs,” Johannesburg-based AngloGold said.

Mines at the two companies, which account for more than 20 percent of South Africa’s gold output, were idled after the incident at the substation, owned by state-run utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., cut supply to parts of two provinces. The combined lost production is valued at about $51.5 million at current prices.

Sibanye’s output in the quarter ending March 22 will drop by 9,452 ounces, with volumes through the end of March 12,646 ounces lower because of the loss of three shifts during the disruption and the gradual restart of operations, James Wellsted, a spokesman for South Africa’s second-biggest gold producer, said in an e-mailed statement.

Eskom is building the world’s third- and fourth-largest coal-fired power plants as part of plans to overcome an electricity deficit that halted factories and mines for five days in 2008.

AngloGold fell 0.4 percent to 227.68 rand in Johannesburg trading by 2:56 p.m. Sibanye rose as much as 2.2 percent and was 0.2 percent higher at 13.93 rand. The FTSE/JSE Africa Gold Mining Index advanced 0.5 percent.

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