Dakar, Senegal — MININGREVIEW.COM — 13 April 2010 – The development of sustainably profitable gold mining industries in Africa requires a committed long-term partnership between the mining companies, their investors and the governments of their host countries.
Revealing this here in an address to the Senegal International Mining Conference, Randgold Resources chief executive Mark Bristow said that while West and Central Africa held great potential for further world-class gold discoveries, the over-promotion of marginal assets by speculators had disappointed many expectations, including those of the host countries.
“The reality is that driving a mining asset up the value curve is a tough business which takes time “’ five to ten years “’ as well as tenacity, expertise and resources. Not many companies could marshal this combination of qualities,” he added.
Bristow said that, taken as a whole, Africa was no more risky for mining companies than other emerging regions. It did, however, present certain specific challenges, notably in terms of capacity and infrastructure. Governments should diminish these hurdles by providing a physical and regulatory environment which was supportive of mining development.
“True value creation is a complex, lengthy and integrated process,” Bristow continued. “The mining companies who succeed in Africa have a proper growth strategy and a commitment to the long term. They are not focused on the next quarter’s results but have a vision which ranges all the way from realistic feasibility studies to post-mining rehabilitation,” he explained.
“Particularly in Africa, with its history of exploitation, success in mining also requires a genuine partnership between companies, their shareholders, and the governments and people of their host countries. That way it will generate not only sustainably profitable mining businesses, but make a meaningful and much-needed contribution to the wider economic welfare of these countries,” he said.
Randgold Resources discovered and developed the Morila and Loulo mines in Mali and is currently building its third mine at Tongon in the Côte d’Ivoire. It also has advanced projects in Mali and Senegal as well as a 45% stake in Kibali in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of Africa’s largest undeveloped gold deposits.