Randgold Resources says intermittent industrial action by the workforce of its mining subcontractor is having some impact on operations at its Tongon gold mine.
The subcontractor has been negotiating with its workforce to achieve a resolution and Tongon management, as well as Randgold Resources executives, are engaging with the country’s minister of mines, senior government and elected officials and local authorities, who are assisting with the negotiation.
Tongon mine is currently processing ore from the run-of-mine and scats stockpiles but management said the operation was lagging its production forecast.
Randgold Resources chief executive Mark Bristow said that with the assistance of the authorities, the operations were expected to get back to full capacity and the challenge was going to be recovering the lost production.
The mine has taken the opportunity to upgrade the second mill motor and mill discharge grate system which is expected to ensure higher and more consistent throughput, that would help to recover some of the lost production.
He confirmed that Randgold’s group outlook for 2018 remained within guidance.
Tongon mine comprises two open pit operations, the SZ and NZ, and based on current reserves, has just over three years LoM.
The mine produced 288 680 oz of gold in 2017, a 9.7% increase year on year, as a result of an 11.6% improvement in tonnes processed, a small improvement in recovery and a slightly higher head grade.
The installation of an 8 MW motor on Mill No 1, lower profile mill liners and the conversion of Mill No 1 discharge end liners to a grate and pebble port discharge liner system, contributed to the throughput increase.
The operation of the fourth flotation cell and the installation of an additional 20 tonne oxygen plant in Q4 were significantly responsible for sustaining the gold recovery.