London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 11 November 2009 – International gold mining and exploration company Randgold Resources Limited swung into a profit in the third quarter of 2009 from a year earlier, as higher gold production and prices outweighed rising costs.
Releasing its latest figures here, the company also revealed that it would fast-track its Gounkoto project in Mali, 25 km south of the company’s flagship Loulo complex, and planned to complete a pre-feasibility study by the end of the first quarter of 2010.
Randgold “’ the only pure gold producer in the FTSE 100 index “’ said it had moved into a profit of US$13.6 million (R108 million) in the third quarter, from a loss of US$684 000 (5.5 million) a year ago, although its profits had dropped 39% from the second quarter of 2009.
Chief executive Mark Bristow told Reuters that he expected gold to reach US$1 200 an ounce by the end of the year due to the fundamental shortage of the metal.
Randgold’s third-quarter gold production rose to 118 925 ounces from 101 856 ounces, but total cash costs per ounce increased to US$573 from US$513 on higher mining costs and stockpile adjustments.
Randgold aims to double its gold production by 2011 and expects to get close to doubling this again by the end of 2013 with the start up of Gounkoto and its Massawa project in Senegal.
A scoping study on Gounkoto estimated an inferred mineral resource of 2.65 million ounces at a grade of 6.3 g/t. “Gounkoto’s grades are just spectacular,” said Bristow.
Elsewhere, the development of the Tongon mine in the Ivory Coast is ahead of schedule, and the first gold could be poured next October, towards the early part of its fourth-quarter 2010 forecast.
The company is fully funded to develop its projects including its newly acquired 45-percent stake in the Kibali project. It expects to start site construction at Kibali within the next 20 to 24 months, Bristow said.