“AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.’s marine exploration venture with diamond giant De Beers SA has turned up gold on the ocean floor and continues to hunt for large deposits, the gold producer’s chief executive said Friday.
Two vessels belonging to De Beers are two-thirds of the way through their exploration off the coast of New Zealand and continue to search off South Africa and Canada, Mark Cutifani said in an interview at the company’s Johannesburg head office.
‘We are finding gold, but the key will be finding those areas where the grades [of the gold found] cover the cost,’ he said. ‘We aren’t there yet.'”
- AngloGold Ashanti and De Beers have teamed up to combine their knowledge of marine mining and gold deposits, hoping to find underwater deposits of gold.
- AngloGold has put in $40mln for 3 years of exploration, a very small amount compared to the billions spend in the exploration industry on land annually.
- The only implication of the announcement by AngloGold’s executive is that the most interesting places that were explored by the joint venture don’t hold levels of gold that make underwater mining feasible.
- A successful exploration effort by the JV might cause a strong increase of sub sea exploration efforts. Dredging companies, specialized miners are the most likely actors in this area, as there are very few synergies between undersea mining and traditional mining apart from processing of the dredged/mined material.
©2010 | Wilfred Visser | thebusinessofmining.com