Bamako, Mali — MININGREVIEW.COM — 23 April 2009 – Resolute Mining Limited (RML) – an Australian-based company engaged in gold mining, prospecting and exploration for minerals in Tanzania, Ghana, Mali and Australia – is to start commercial gold production at its Syama mine in Mali in July.
Syama – which has cost US$189 million (more than R1.7 billion) so far – is expected to produce 250 000 ounces of gold per year when running at full capacity, which at current world prices would be worth more than US$220 million (more than R2 billion).
“We will start producing gold in April or May, but there will be a period of bedding in, and we think we will be in constant production from the start of July,” Resolute general manager for Mali Philippe Aupy told Reuters in an interview here.
Syama – judged insufficiently profitable when gold prices were low – was placed on care and maintenance by former owner Randgold Resources in 2001. Resolute bought it in 2004 and began re-developing in June 2006.
“We are almost ready,” Aupy said. “As of 31 March, 99.7% of the rehabilitation work had been done. The project will last 15 years at an annual production of 250 000 ounces, but for the first four years we will produce an annual 180 000 ounces,” he added.
Reuters reports that gold is benefiting from the global financial downturn as many investors seek shelter in what they see as the safety of the yellow metal, and some fund managers say shares in gold miners are a good buying opportunity.
Mali is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest gold producers, and the precious metal is a major contributor to its economy.
Last month, the prime minister said Mali would earn US$240 million (R2.2 billion) from gold in 2009 – up 20% on last year, when gold revenues accounted for 70% of export earnings.