Randgold reports record year

Randgold Resources' Chief Financial Officer, Graham Shuttleworth, announced today that since the company declared its maiden dividend for the 2006 financial year, its dividends have increased by 1,900%.

"Randgold Resources had one of the best years in its history of achievement and delivery in 2017, posting another production record of an already high base and pruning the cost of production to its lowest level in six years," Shuttleworth said in a press release.

According to the CFO, the sustained dividend growth validates the business model and reflects the profitability and financial strength of the company, which at year-end had net cash of more than $700 million and no debt. The company, he said, intends to maintain a net cash position of around $500 million to fund new growth opportunities, while any surplus capital will be returned to shareholders.

However, management says that Randgold's hunt for what it calls "its next world-class gold deposit" will not impact the firm's 10-year plan to remain profitable at a long-term gold price of $1,000 per ounce.

The Jersey-based miner, which operates the giant Kibali gold mine in the northeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, also stated that it is committed to working towards positive partnerships. “The mutually beneficial relationships it has patiently forged with its host countries and communities are serving it well, and over the years the company has effectively dealt with the differences that inevitably arise in even the most well-intentioned partnerships,” chairman Christopher Coleman wrote in the brief. “Randgold is consequently confident that it is well-equipped to cope with the occasional turbulence in its operational climate,” he added.

Together with other big firms, Randgold submitted a proposal to address concerns related to the DRC's recently modified mining code. Among other things, the new law raises royalties and taxes on operators.

The miners are proposing linking a sliding scale of royalty rates to the prices of the key commodities, which industry representatives believe would be a more effective mechanism than what they call "the windfall tax" introduced in the new code.