South Africa approves AngloGold’s Harmony sale but with conditions

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South Africa’s mines ministry has given the green light for the sale of AngloGold Ashanti’s last remaining assets in the country to Harmony Gold on condition that it does not delist from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Harmony agreed in February to buy rival AngloGold Ashanti’s assets in South Africa, including Mponeng, the world’s deepest gold mine, for about $300 million.

Every sale in the mining industry in South Africa must be approved by the ministry under mineral resources rules in accordance with Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development regulations.

“The department can confirm that an application in terms of Section 11 of the MPRDA has been received and was approved on 24 July,” the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) said via email.

The ministry said the granting of the application was based on an understanding between AngloGold Ashanti and the department that the company would not disinvest from the South African economy by delisting from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) or relocate its headquarters.

AngloGold had said in February it would consider moving its primary listing on the JSE as it streamlines its portfolio. But in August the company said moving its listing was no longer a priority amid the pandemic.

AngloGold said on Wednesday it had not yet received all necessary approvals and was still in talks with the government.

“We remain in dialogue with the DMRE in relation to these, and will make the necessary disclosures once those engagements are concluded,” AngloGold Ashanti said.

Harmony Gold said, “We are continuing to engage with the DMRE and hope to conclude the transaction as soon as possible”.