Bamako, Mali — MININGREVIEW.COM — 24 October 2008 – The Morila gold mine in Mali – which has produced some five million ounces of gold in the past eight years – will start its transition to a stockpile retreatment operation towards the middle of next year.
Revealing this at a media day at the mine, Randgold Resources chief executive Mark Bristow said the mine’s stakeholders must work together to ensure that the maximum value is extracted from the remaining asset while it is brought to a close in an orderly and responsible manner. Randgold Resources manages and has a 40% stake in the mine, which it discovered and developed.
Bristow added that the transitional process should be a disciplined one designed to leave something of value in the form of a sustainable regional agri-business in the place of Morila. The business could use some of the mine’s facilities and infrastructure and employ some of its former workers.
Since it went into production in October 2000, Morila has produced some 5 million ounces of gold and contributed US$492 million (more than R5 billion) to the Malian economy in the form of dividends, royalties and taxes.
“But Morila’s contribution to Mali has not been limited to the revenues it paid to the government. A mine like this is an enormous economic engine which pumps out opportunity and prosperity in a wide circle around it,” Bristow pointed out. “Morila has created employment for thousands of Malians, developed skills and built capacity, provided a market for the goods and services of many local companies, expanded the country’s infrastructure, and uplifted the quality of life of the communities around it,” he concluded.