Operations at Randgold Resources’ Tongon gold mine have returned to normal after a protracted illegal strike.
In addition Randgold Resources chief executive, Mark Bristow notes that the Tongon gold mine looks set to achieve its revised production target for 2018 of 230 000 oz.
The mine has also resumed dividend payments and recently recorded 5 million working hours without a lost time injury.
"The end of the strike was achieved in partnership with Randgold Resources' in-country stakeholders, notably the government and local authorities but also the company’s community and contractors," comments Bristow.
“The experience has reinforced not only this partnership but also Randgold Resources' long term commitment to Côte d’Ivoire, and we are continuing to build our exploration portfolio in the country.
"At the same time, we continue to hunt for near-mine replacement ounces to extend Tongon’s life,” he adds.
Bristow explains that exploration has extended the strikes at the advanced Djinni and Mercator targets and delineated continuous mineralisation and alteration along the Badenou corridor between the two targets which are within trucking distance of the mine.
The latest results highlight the prospectivity of the Badenou Trend, and of Côte d’Ivoire in general.
At the Fonondara target, an infill drilling programme to increase resolution in the high grade zones in the main target is under way, while 12 strong new targets have been generated along the 45 km Fonondara structure.
A similar target generation exercise has been completed at Mankono where new soil geochemistry results have also identified a 6.5 km long +50 ppb soil anomaly at Bafretou.
He notes that the government’s recent elevation of its mining portfolio to full ministry status was an encouraging sign of the growing importance it attaches to this industry.
In partnership with the new Ministry of Mines and joint venture partner Newcrest, Randgold Resources is leading a regional exploration initiative designed to enhance geological data sets over areas of interest in under explored parts of the country.
The joint venture will have first pick of any targets delivered by this process, with government retaining the rest to attract other investors.
“Randgold’s proposed merger with Barrick will bring what will be the world’s largest gold mining company to Côte d’Ivoire, which augurs well for the country and the industry,” he concludes.