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JOHANNESBURG, Nov 8 AFP

November 08 2012, 9:38PM

Mining titan AngloGold Ashanti has seen earnings slump by 49 per cent in the third quarter, thanks in large part to deadly labour unrest in South Africa.

The world's third-largest gold producer said profits fell to $US235 million ($A226.58 million) compared with $US457 million a year before, amid strikes that froze production at the company's six South African mines.

It also reported that operations were back to normal at all but one of its facilities.

"It's been a tough period for the industry here, but we've taken decisive action on a number of fronts to stay the course," AngloGold Ashanti CEO Mark Cutifani said on Thursday.

"Our major projects are on track and we're making the decisions to ensure we maintain a lean, fit business that will continue delivering strong returns."

Amid fears that the strike would force mining companies to shed jobs, AngloGold Ashanti has cancelled a major mechanisation project at one South African mine to "improve the operation's flexibility"

The company also reported "major growth projects in Australia, the United States and the Democratic Republic of Congo".