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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

AngloGold, Polimetall Form Venture

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- AngloGold Ashanti, Africa's largest gold producer, formed a partnership with Polimetall to explore for gold and seek acquisitions in Russia.

The companies will each own half of the venture, Johannesburg-based AngloGold said Thursday in a statement to the city's stock exchange. Both companies will contribute properties to the venture, and St. Petersburg-based Polimetall, the nation's biggest silver producer, will provide cash.

AngloGold and other gold miners are extending their search for the metal into riskier areas as production outpaces the rate at which deposits are found. The search, fueled by gold's rise in May to a 26-year high, has taken the company into Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Philippines and now Russia.

"We've always said that getting a Russian partner is an important part of building a business there," said Richard Duffy, AngloGold's executive officer of business development. "We're in a better position with this alliance to consider more substantial opportunities in Russia."

Shares of AngloGold gained 2.9 rand, or 1 percent, to 289.9 rand in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 79.8 billion rand ($10.6 billion).