London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 22 July 2010 – International gold mining and exploration company Randgold Resources says construction on its Kibali project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is six months ahead of schedule, and is now being targeted to start production in mid-2011.
Kibali is a Randgold Resources, AngloGold Ashanti and Okimo joint venture where Randgold and AngloGold Ashanti each hold 45%, while the Congolese government has a 10% stake, through DRC parastatal mining company Office des Mines de Kilo Moto (Okimo).
Randgold Resources chief executive Mark Bristow said the earlier start-up target date was attributable to the progress that had been made on the pre-development programmes as well as the cooperation of the local community and the government of the DRC.
The update of the feasibility study had been advanced significantly, with the sizing of the plant, the mining plans and the optimisation between the underground and open pit operations on track for completion by year-end.
Total probable mineral reserves currently stand at 9.2 million ounces of gold, with the indicated mineral resource at 13.9 million ounces and inferred mineral resources at 5.8 million ounces.
“With all our basic homework done and the critical pre-development deliverables taking shape, we have now turned our attention to looking at ways to bring the construction schedule forward,” said Bristow.
International-standard baseline studies on the project’s environmental and social impact are also well advanced, as is the public participation process and a resettlement programme, which is in the final stages of planning.