Randgold Resources has announced that the company’s expects to achieve this year’s production guidance with able support from an automated materials handling system at Kibali gold mine’s underground operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The company said that Kibali mine remains on course to achieve its planned ramp-up in production to a total of 730,000 ounces (oz), which represents a 22% increase over the previous year’s output.
Randgold Resources chief executive Mark Bristow said: “Aside from the continuing optimisation of the underground system and the construction of the mine’s third hydropower station, scheduled for commissioning towards the middle of this year, the giant Kibali project is now complete.”
The project is expected to be moved from an underground mining by contractors to an owner-mining arrangement later this year.
Randgold previously invested $2.7bn in Kibali over an eight-year period in order to transform the site into one of the most highly automated underground gold mines in Africa.
Bristow further added: “The investment in Kibali was motivated by the stability provision in the 2002 mining code, which in our view has been triggered by the recent promulgation of the 2018 code.
“We trust we shall be able to reach consensus on this issue with the government, which we believe is critical to future investment in the country.”
The mine will be developed in two phases and is slated to produce more than 600,000oz of gold per annum over the next ten years.