In 1990, FOMICRUZ S.E. issued Public Bid Number 1/90 for the submission of company records and investment proposals in relation to the research and exploration with option to commercial exploitation of the Cerro Vanguardia prospect.
The successful bidder was Minera Mincorp S.A., a corporation created by Minorco and Pérez Companc. This Public Bid defined four concession areas and the company selected those identified as II and III.
In 1991, the MINCRUZ UTE joint venture agreement was executed providing for a 25 year term computed from the date the exploration was completed, with a renewal option by parties' mutual consent.
In 1992, FOMICRUZ S.E. called for a new Public Bid for the Cerro Vanguardia northern and eastern areas. The best offer was submitted by Minera Mincorp S.A. for the northern area and the award contract was signed in mid-1993. Finally, a new public bid was issued in the last quarter of 1992 for the remaining area, which was also awarded to Minera Mincorp S.A. By the end of 1993 and early 1994 an agreement was signed between FOMICRUZ S.E. and Minera Mincorp S.A. whereunder Cerro Vanguardia S.A.'s 514 Km2 were transfered to MINCRUZ UTE.
The initial exploration activities on this deposit extended from 1992 to 1996 and ended with a full Feasibility Study. The company was granted a thirty-year tax stability right under the Mining Investment Law. Simultaneously, the Environmental Impact Statement was obtained for the mining stage, based on the first Environmental Impact Report approved in the country under the provisions of the Law on Environmental Impact for Mining Activities, enacted that year.
Once the decision was made to proceed to the production stage, Minera Mincorp S.A. was reorganized during the last quarter of 1996, to become Cerro Vanguardia S.A., including Fomicruz S.E. with a 7.5% interest, and AngloGold and Pérez Companc equally retaining 46.25% each.
The construction of the plant and infrastructure commenced in January 1997. In 1998, Cerro Vanguardia, deemed the main precious metal deposit, with the largest life of mine in the country, entered its production stage. Its facilities, located in the middle of the Patagonian steppe, are fitted with state-of-the-art technologies that make it the most important mine in the south of Argentina.
In 2002, AngloGold Limited acquired Pérez Companc's interest in the Company, a move that took its interest in Cerro Vanguardia to 92.5%.
AngloGold Limited, in turn, was founded in June 1998 through the consolidation of all Anglo American's mining interests in the gold market. AngloGold Ashanti, as the company is now named, was the result of the merger of AngloGold and Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited on April 26, 2004.
Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, AngloGold Ashanti is at present the third largest gold producer in the world. It has a significant portfolio of assets in the main gold producing areas, with 21 operations distributed over 10 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and the U.S.A. The company is now conducting exploration in the west of Australia, Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is involved in exploration partnerships and joint ventures in Russia, China and the Philippines.