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.”