AngloGold Ashanti to cut jobs

The company wants to cut jobs in overstaffed areas, with a preference given to employees over 55.

FILE: AngloGold Ashanti reported a sharp fall in third-quarter earnings earlier this month. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's AngloGold Ashanti plans to cut staff through voluntary severance packages as the bullion producer feels the pinch of lower gold prices and rising costs, according to a company memo seen by Reuters.

"We will attempt to decrease the workforce numbers," the company said in the memo sent to unions, adding that all employees may apply for the packages.

Applications will open on Tuesday and the company wants to cut jobs in overstaffed areas, with a preference given to employees who are over 55-years-old, according to the memo. The company did not say how many jobs it was looking to cut.

No one at AngloGold Ashanti was immediately available for comment.

AngloGold Ashanti reported a sharp fall in third-quarter earnings earlier this month in the face of a lower gold price, inflationary pressures and higher tax charges.

Gold prices could tumble toward levels last seen at the height of the 2008/2009 financial crisis, between $800 and $900 an ounce, as the metal is no longer seen as an attractive way to diversify an investment portfolio, metals merchant and hedge fund Red Kite said on Monday.