Randgold to boost gold production at Tongon mine in Ivory Coast

27 April 2014 (Last Updated April 27th, 2014 18:30)

Randgold Resources is planning to boost its gold production from its Tongon mine in Ivory Coast to 260,000oz in 2014, up from 233,591oz in 2013.

Randgold Resources is planning to boost its gold production from its Tongon mine in Ivory Coast to 260,000oz in 2014, up from 233,591oz in 2013.

The company claimed that the new mining code, developed by Côte d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast in collaboration with the mining industry in the country will drive production.

Randgold CEO Mark Bristow was quoted by Reuters as saying that if gold prices remained between $1,200 and $1,300 per ounce, the $480m spent on the Tongon mine would be repaid by 2015 and investors in the operation would start receiving dividends.

Bristow added that the increased output will come from improved recovery rates at the mine and production would grow consistently in the next five years.

"Investors are deterred by the political and infrastructural risks associated with Africa, but in Côte d'Ivoire we have shown how these challenges can be overcome by a true partnership between a mining company, the government and the people."

According to Randgold, the African continent accounts for 20% of global gold output, driven by the growth of the gold mining industries.

Bristow said the new mining code would accelerate the country's shift to also becoming a major gold producer.

"Investors are deterred by the political and infrastructural risks associated with Africa, but in Côte d'Ivoire we have shown how these challenges can be overcome by a true partnership between a mining company, the government and the people," Bristow said.

Having produced its first gold in 2010, the Tongon mine is further expected to produce for another seven years.

However, Bristow said Randgold is also investing around $6m in exploration programmes on 12 active permits elsewhere in Côte d'Ivoire.

"Early results from the Mankono and Fapoho permits had confirmed significant gold in soil anomalies in favourable geological and structural settings," Bristow said.

"Drilling targets are currently being defined. Adjacent to the Tongon deposit, lower grade mineralisation in several satellite pits is being evaluated as part of a project to extend the mine's life."

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