The Morila gold
mine in Mali
 
Bamako, Mali — MININGREVIEW.COM — 22 July 2009 – International gold mining and exploration company Randgold Resources Limited “’ the company largely responsible for making Mali Africa’s third largest gold miner “’ says its continuing exploration in the region has yielded more major discoveries with the potential of becoming world class mines.
 
Randgold has already developed two world class mines in the country “’ Morila and Loulo “’ both based on its own discoveries. It has recently announced two robust new prospects in the region:  Gounkoto, which lies within the Loulo permit, and Massawa, a short distance away across the border in Senegal. The company is currently developing its third mine at Tongon in Côte d’Ivoire.

In an address here, chief executive Mark Bristow ascribed the company’s success to its long-term commitment to the pursuit of sustainably profitable projects, its willingness to make substantial investments in their discovery and development, and its philosophy of partnership with its host country stakeholders.

“We funded Morila in the early years of this decade, at the bottom of the gold price trough, when very few others were prepared to invest in gold, or in Mali. AngloGold Ashanti was brought in as a joint venture partner in 2000, and the since then the mine has produced more than 5 million ounces of gold, contributed millions in taxes, duties and dividends to the economy of Mali, and supported many community initiatives such as skills development, malaria control and HIV/Aids awareness programmes.

“Morila has recently been converted to a stockpile treatment operation but it will remain a substantial profit generator until at least 2013,” Bristow said. “Our Loulo complex is currently being expanded through a programme which will increase production there by some 30%. This includes the development of two underground mines which “’ as the first of their kind in the country “’ have already started to introduce a significant new technology and skills set to Mali,” he added.

The Gounkoto target is also producing exceptionally promising results, giving further substance to Randgold Resources’ confidence in the prospectivity of the Loulo region, and its belief that this could become one of Africa’s major gold fields.

Meanwhile a scoping study on Massawa has confirmed that it has the potential to develop into one of the top gold projects in Africa, and a pre-feasibility study is now under way there.