Kinshasa, DRC — 17 April 2012 – Construction work on the Kibali project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is expected become one of the largest gold mines in Africa, is proceeding rapidly as the developers keep their sights firmly set on first production by the end of 2013.
The plus 10 million ounce gold deposit is owned by Randgold Resources (45%), AngloGold Ashanti (45%) and the Congolese parastatal, Sokimo (10%). The project is being developed
by Randgold which will also operate the mine. The completed Kibali operation will comprise an integrated underground and open pit mine, a twin-circuit sulphide and oxide plant with a
throughput of 6Mtpa, and four self-constructed hydropower stations, as well as a standby high-speed thermal power generator for back-up during the dry season.
The project is being constructed in two overlapping phases. Phase 1, from Q1 of 2012 to Q4 of 2013, covers the metallurgical plant, the first phase of the tailings storage facility, the first of the
hydropower stations, the back-up power plant, all shared infrastructure and the completion of the resettlement programme. The cost of Phase 1 is estimated at US$920 million, before provisions, contingencies and escalation.
Phase 2 will include the development of the underground mine which is expected to deliver first ore in 2014 and to reach steady state production by 2015, at an estimated cost of US$650 million
before provisions, contingencies and escalation. The current life of mine plan envisages average annual production of approximately 600 000 ounces for the first 12 years, with an average grade
“By the end of March, we had already shifted 200 000 cubic metres of ground for the foundations of the metallurgy plant and during the second quarter we plan to move 800 000 cubic metres for the bulk earthworks,” says project manager Gary Short. “The construction of the assay laboratory is scheduled for completion by early May and the three lay-down terraces should be complete by June.
The open pit mining contractor started site establishment in February and its fleet is due to begin arriving from the end of this month. The earthworks and civils contractor is also on site and work on the main earthworks should commence in earnest on schedule at the end of April.
During the current quarter, concrete works are planned to start at the metallurgy plant and, at the first hydropower plant, earthworks for the decline box cut are due to get underway and the
structural, mechanical and plate work contractor is scheduled to mobilise on site.”
Randgold chief executive Mark Bristow said that at Kibali, as at the company’s other operations, the development had been guided by the company’s partnership philosophy and by the belief
that all its stakeholders, including the communities in which it operates, should benefit from its activities.
Source: Randgold Resources. For more information, click here.