Randgold's Kibali ramp-up on track for 600koz

Randgold Resources shares (LON:RSS,NASDAQ:GOLD) announced Tuesday operations at its Kibali project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is now operating at design.

Randgold, worth $7.5 billion in New York after a 27% rise in value this year, reported that with final commissioning of the metallurgical plant and the first of three hydropower plants, Kibali delivered against plan.

Chief executive Mark Bristow told a media briefing in the capital Kinshasa "the priorities for the current year were to advance the development of the underground mine, which will complement the existing open-pit operations, ramp up annual production to 600 000 ounces, commission the second hydropower plant and start work on the third, and continue expanding and upgrading the local skills base."

Kibali, owned by Randgold and AngloGold, each with a 45% stake, and the DRC state gold mining company Société Miniere de Kilo-Moto, will cost around $1.7 billion. Randgold pegs mineral reserves at Kibali at 11 million ounces of gold and resources of 21 million ounces.

Kibali required the resettlement of more than 4,000 families from 14 villages in a new town and the expansion of the local road network to 350 kilometres. According to Randgold it has awarded business valued at more than $650 million to Congolese-owned companies while its engagement with local co-operatives has created more than 400 non-mining jobs.

The fast-growing Jersey-based company also operates three mines at the Loulo-Gounkoto complex in Mali and the Tongon mine in Côte d’Ivoire. The company's Massawa project in Senegal is at feasibility stage and exploration programmes are underway in Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Mali and Senegal.