Randgold Resources’ Loulo-Gounkoto gold mining complex in Mali is expected to report another new production record for the fourth quarter of 2016, rounding off on a high note what has been a good year for the company’s flagship operation.
The Gara underground mine, which forms part of the Loulo-Gounkoto gold mining complex (photo: Randgold).
Speaking to local Malian media at a briefing at Loulo, Randgold’s Chief Executive Mark Bristow said that – as indicated in the third quarter – the company was on track to report that it had exceeded its production guidance of 670 000 ounces of gold for 2016, and would maintain an annual production of plus 600 000 ounces for at least the next 10 years. This should be supported by the decision to proceed with the Gounkoto super pit project, once approved by the board.
“The Loulo-Gounkoto complex is not just world-class, it is the best in its class by any measure, from the quality of its all-Malian management team through its successful owner-mining underground operation to its exemplary safety, health and environmental management programmes,” he stated.
Bristow said Randgold had been involved in Mali for 20 years and in that time had made an enormous difference for the better in the country. At the national level it has paid more than US$2 billion to the state in taxes and dividends and contributed another US$2,9 billion to the economy in the form of salaries, community investments and payments to local suppliers. Its Malian operations routinely account for between 6 % and 10 % of the country’s GDP.
“We have taken great care to ensure that all our stakeholders – and not least our host government and our local communities – have shared equitably in the value we have created,” he said.
Bristow added that Randgold was committed to further investment in Mali, not only with regards to exploration and its own mining businesses but also in community projects aligned to its sustainability-focused social responsibility policy.
Bristow also said that Randgold’s investment in exploration continued to be a key part of the company’s long term strategy in Mali with exploration teams progressing targets across western Mali during the fourth quarter of the year. At Loulo itself, brownfields exploration again demonstrated the quality of Randgold’s orebodies with over 600 000 ounces of inferred resources added through drilling at Gara in 2016 while recent studies at the Yalea deposit had identified a number of targets for follow-up in 2017.