AngloGold Ashanti is eyeing the exit door for the second time in half a decade as it considers divestment options from its South African assets. The gold producer's Mponeng mine in Carletonville, about 80km from Johannesburg, is the deepest in the world and its last mine in the country. But as it stands, without substantial further investment the mine has a lifespan of less than a decade and has to compete with 13 operations in eight other countries. "The investment to extend Mponeng's life beyond eight years has very strong competition for capital and other scarce resources from a host of other projects in our portfolio," CEO Kelvin Dushnisky said this week. The way AngloGold sees it, its other mines are more attractive and generate higher returns and quicker payback periods, which is enough reason for it to have a look at the divestment options for its South African business. Five years ago the gold miner, then and now the world's third-largest by volume, had a plan to put its Sou...

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