Bamako, Mali — MININGREVIEW.COM — 23 April 2008 – The Yalea underground gold mine being developed by international gold mining and exploration company Randgold Resources at its Loulo project in Mali is scheduled to establish its first mining faces in the second quarter of this year, with full production by 2009.
Confirming this at a media briefing here, Loulo general manager Amadou Konta revealed that a second underground mine, Gara, was currently at final planning stage, and was expected to be in production by 2010.
Together, the two mines will boost Loulo’s total gold output from the current level of 250 000 oz pa produced by its two existing open-pit mines, to 400 000 oz in 2010.
“Meanwhile continuing exploration at Loulo increased its reserves from 6.8 to 7.4Moz of gold last year – net of depletion by mining – and there is considerable scope for further growth,” said Randgold chief executive Mark Bristow.
“In fact, Loulo is not just a world-class gold mine; it also has the potential to become the hub of what we believe to be one of Africa’s most exciting emerging goldfields – the Kenieba Inlier – which already hosts a number of multi-million-ounce deposits,” he added
“Because of our interest in this area, we have built a landholding of 14 000 km² around Loulo. Some 100 km to the west – across the border in Senegal – we control a further 7 000 km², which includes the recently discovered and very exciting Massawa target,” Bristow continued. “The substantial infrastructure we have established at Loulo gives us the ideal base for significant brownfield expansion in this region,” he concluded.