Randgold Resources has signed an agreement with government-owned Société Minière de Kilo-Moto (SOKIMO) and Moku Goldmines to develop the Moku-Beverendi gold project in Congo.
Randgold Resources CEO Mark Bristow said that the company can earn a stake of minimum 51% in the project under the deal by the way of funding as well as by carrying out exploration and completing a pre-feasibility study.
A 20% non-contributing stake in the project would be held by SOKIMO.
The Moku-Beverendi gold mine has exploration permits that are located next to Randgold’s Kibali gold mine, which is partly-owned by AngloGold Ashanti.
The latest addition to Randgold’s portfolio will extend its exploration footprint in Congo to 7,824km².
Meanwhile, the company’s Kibali gold mine in Congo exceeded its target by 7% to contribute 642,720 ounces to the group’s production for 2015.
Bristow said: "Kibali is going to make a major impact on the Congolese economy, as it has already spent more than $1 billion with local service and goods providers, and I believe it will also be the flagship for the development of a major gold mining industry in this country."
"The next two years will be particularly tough, as Kibali continues to ramp up its underground production within the constraints of a lower grade and the consequent need for a higher throughput, and we are therefore forecasting an output of 610,000 ounces for 2016 and 620,000 ounces for 2017."
Image: Randgold’s Kibali gold mine is partly-owned by AngloGold Ashanti. Photo: courtesy of Randgold Resources Limited.