June 10, 2009 / 10:32 AM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-AngloGold, Thani Dubai form M.East mining JV

* To explore for gold, precious and base metals

* Opportunities already identified

* Projects will be equally funded

(Adds details, shares)

JOHANNESBURG, June 10 (Reuters) - AngloGold Ashanti (ANGJ.J) said on Wednesday it has formed a strategic alliance with Thai Dubai Mining Ltd to explore, develop and operate mines across the Middle East and parts of North Africa.

AngloGold, the world’s No. 3 gold producer, said each company will have a 50 percent interest in the alliance, which would explore for gold, precious and base metals.

AngloGold added that project acquisitions and exploration programmes would be equally funded by both AngloGold Ashanti and Thani.

As part of the transaction, AngloGold, which has one of the biggest forward sales among its peers, would develop, manage and operate any subsequent mining operations.

The company said it has already identified opportunities in the region and an evaluation process of these opportunities was currently in progress.

Shares in AngloGold fell 1.42 percent at 315 rand by 1021 GMT, lagging a firmer JSE Top-40 index of blue chips .JTOPI.

Reporting by Gugulakhe Lourie

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