London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 03 April 2009 – International gold mining and exploration company Randgold Resources has maintained its focus on sustainable profitability based on continued value creation in 2008, to deliver another strong performance.
In the company’s annual report published here, chief executive Mark Bristow noted that, in a challenging year, the company had improved its earnings, market capital and reserves, declared an increased dividend, and had expanded its operations as well as its tangible growth prospects.
Highlights in the report included the successful takeover of the management of the Morila joint venture, first production from the Yalea underground development at the Loulo complex, completion of the preliminaries for the company’s next mine at Tongon in Côte d’Ivoire, and the emergence of the Massawa target in Senegal as a major discovery.
It added that Morila had produced its 5 millionth ounce of gold during the year and was currently being repositioned as a profitable stockpile treatment operation. Loulo had continued to make progress with an expansion programme designed to increase its production by some 50% by 2010.
Meanwhile,” he added, “work is underway on Tongon – the third mine to be built by Randgold Resources – which is scheduled for commissioning in the fourth quarter of 2010. Massawa has continued to shape up as a major discovery which could well have the makings of the company’s fourth mine,” he said.
Bristow pointed out that cost control was still a major focus area for the company and it had managed to keep its costs, in absolute terms, below the average inflationary increases for the industry.
"Exploration will always remain the key to our strategy of building long term value growth,” Bristow emphasised.“In the past year, it again proved its worth not only by identifying or advancing future projects, but also by expanding our reserve base by one million ounces after mining depletion.”
While Randgold Resources’ West African base still holds great potential for further world class discoveries, it has recently expanded its exploration scope to encompass the gold belts located in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Tanzania.
The company’s annual reserve and resource declaration, published with its annual report, shows a significant increase in both asset classes through the conversion of Tongon resources into reserves, the entry of Massawa into the resource category, and the enhancement of the reserve base at Loulo.