Randgold Resources CEO Mark Bristow said the company had exceeded its production guidance of 670 000 oz of gold for 2016, and would maintain annual production of more than 600 000 oz for at least the next 10 years.
This should be supported by the decision to proceed with the Gounkoto super pit project, once approved by the board of Randgold Resources.
“The Loulo-Gounkoto complex is not just world-class, it is the best in its class by any measure, from the quality of its all-Malian management team through its successful owner-mining underground operation to its exemplary safety, health and environmental management programmes,” he said.
Bristow said Randgold Resources had been involved in Mali for 20 years and has made an enormous difference in the country.
“At national level, Randgold Resources has paid more than $2 billion to the state in taxes and dividends and contributed another $2.9 billion to the economy in the form of salaries, community investments and payments to local suppliers.
“We have taken great care to ensure that all our stakeholders – not least our host government and our local communities – have shared equitably in the value we have created,” Bristow said.
“In partnership with the government, we have also developed Mali into one of the world’s premier gold exploration and mining destinations, creating a solid foundation for general economic growth, which can still be improved upon.”
Bristow said Randgold was committed to further investment in Mali, not only with regard to exploration and its own mining businesses, but also in community projects aligned to its sustainability-focused social responsibility policy.
In this regard, he noted that significant progress was being made with the establishment of agripole at Morila, Randgold’s other operation in Mali.
In partnership with local NGOs, the ministry of mines and the ministry of industrial development, a model is being prepared that will demonstrate there is an opportunity to develop a sustainable agribusiness that will be a local source of economic activity after Morila’s closure. The model will shortly be presented to Mali’s council of ministers and the Morila board.
Bristow also said that Randgold’s investment in exploration continued to be a key part of the company’s long-term strategy in Mali with exploration teams advancing targets across western Mali during the fourth quarter of the year.
At Loulo itself, brownfields exploration again demonstrated the quality of Randgold’s ore bodies with over 600 000 oz of inferred resources added through drilling at Gara in 2016, while recent studies at the Yalea deposit had identified a number of targets for follow-up in 2017.