AngloGold Ashanti CEO Kelvin Dushnisky insisted that the company's decision to sell its last remaining South African gold mining assets was "not an indictment" of SA. The decision to sell its last deep-level South African mine and tailings retreatment operations was motivated by a a practical business choice about where to find the best returns, Dushnisky said in an interview on Thursday. Its an an end of an era for the company,which can trace its roots back to 1926 with Anglo American's gold mines and more formally to 1944 when it was incorporated as Vaal Reefs Exploration and Mining Company. At one stage, it was by far the largest employer in SA's mining industry, with more than 305,000 people working on its gold mines in the 1980s.

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