Australia’s largest gold miner has sold stakes in the South African gold mining industry to a private equity group after losing millions of dollars due to poor mining conditions.
The Australian Commodity Investment Corporation said on Monday that it had bought gold mines in the country’s southern region of Limpopo for $200 million.
The mining company, which operates in the vast South African copper and gold mines, has been in talks with the private equity firm to sell its stakes in gold-rich Limpopos, a government-owned company that runs the mines.
The group said it had taken over the mines in 2015 as part of a joint venture with the South Africa Mining Corporation (SMC).
The company is not owned by the South Africans and is not subject to the South’s gold control laws.
The mines in Limpopoes are estimated to produce about one million tonnes of gold a year.
The SMC, however, has not yet confirmed the sale and said it was in discussions with the government about the deal.
The mine’s current owner, SMC Resources Ltd, is owned by Australian company Goldcorp.
The company’s shares have fallen over the past year as mining conditions have deteriorated in Limpongs mines.
Australian Commodities Investment Corporation chairman Andrew Pomerantz said in a statement that the purchase of the mines was an important step in the recovery of the industry and a significant step forward in the mining industry.
The company’s chief executive, Ian Grew, said it would be a good deal for the company.
“We are confident that the acquisition of the Limpopois mines will provide significant financial benefit to the company and to the communities that depend on them for their livelihoods,” he said.
“The mines will be owned by a diversified group of investors that will benefit from the company’s ongoing management of the mine.”
A number of mining companies have been struggling in South African mines as well as other parts of the world in recent years, with the price of gold rising by nearly 50 per cent since the global financial crisis hit in 2008.
Last year, the government of President Jacob Zuma said it wanted to encourage foreign investment into the country and reduce its dependence on foreign gold imports.
Zuma said in January that it would encourage investment by foreign investors in mining in order to boost economic growth.