Ashanti profit for third quarter up 55 percent

Ashanti Gold earned US$58.8 million in the first nine months of this year, up from US$37.6 million though gold sales were down from 1.25 million ounces to 1.22 million ounces.

Its production costs also went up from US$257 an ounce last year to US$262 an ounce.

Earnings for the third quarter alone were 55 percent above last's year, with the company realising US$22.5 million compared with US$14.5 million.

Total sales for the nine months were US$419.3 million, while those for the third quarter alone were US$141.2 million.

The company had sales of US$405.6 million in the first nine months of last year and US$136.2 million in the third quarter alone.

The company realised an average of US$344 an ounce in the first nine months of this year up from US$325 last year. In the third quarter, it realised US$347 an ounce compared with US$331 last year.

The spot price for gold for the first nine months was US$308 while that for the third quarter was $315.

The company has entered into a joint venture to explore for platinum in South Africa.

Its Geita mine in Tanzania achieved record gold production and increased reserves by 24 percent.

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