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An­gloGold Ashanti is poised to exit the in­dex for the JSE’s 40 largest com­pa­nies, leav­ing the gauge de­void of any pro­duc­ers of the pre­cious metal that pro­vided a cor­ner­stone for the in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and growth of South Africa’s econ­omy.

The world’s third-big­gest gold pro­ducer will be ex­cluded from the FTSE/JSE Top40 In­dex from De­cem­ber 21, the ex­change said this week, af­ter a 74% plunge in the value of the stock since the be­gin­ning of 2012. BHP Bil­li­ton, An­glo Amer­i­can and its Joburg­based plat­inum unit will be the only min­ing stocks in the gauge.

Gold out­put by South Africa, whose Wit­wa­ter­srand Basin is the source of about a third of all bul­lion mined, slid at the fastest pace among the 10 big­gest-pro­duc­ing coun­tries in the past decade.

Pro­duc­tion halved over the pe­riod to about 145 tons last year as grades de­clined, shafts be­came deeper and op­er­at­ing costs rose at a faster pace than in­fla­tion.

Peter Ma­jor, a min­ing an­a­lyst at Cadiz Spe­cialised As­set Man­age­ment, said: “We were the Sil­i­con Val­ley of gold min­ing and took the rest of the world out of busi­ness – that is his­tory now.”

– Bloomberg

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