Kibali continues to work through challenges as it heads for full production
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, – The giant Kibali gold mining complex will remain a work in progress until its underground mining component is completed towards the end of 2017 but in the meantime its management is making significant progress in dealing with transitional challenges, Randgold chief executive Mark Bristow said here today.
Speaking at a regular briefing, Bristow said that, as anticipated, the complexity of dealing with multiple ore types from different sources had affected throughput, recovery and grade in the first half of the year. This issue was being resolved, however, and management had taken measures and revised the mine plan to keep Kibali on course to meet its plus 600 000 ounce production target for the year.
“Development of the underground mine is on track and the shaft is currently being integrated with the decline section. Commissioning is scheduled for July 2017. In the meantime, the team is also focusing on opening two high-grade satellite pits in 2016 and 2017 which will greatly improve operational flexibility,” he said.
“Elsewhere on site, construction of the Ambarau hydropower station is back on track and is expected to start generating electricity in the fourth quarter of this year. Work is already underway on Azambi which will be Kibali’s third hydropower station. Notwithstanding the operational challenges, management has continued to focus on developing a team consisting entirely of host country nationals, as at our other mines, as well as building up a strong corps of local contractors and suppliers. It is also maintaining the emphasis on Kibali’s community programmes, ranging from capacity building to agribusiness start-ups.”
“During my recent motorbike trip through the DRC as part of Randgold’s Boyzonbikes fundraising safari, it became clear to me that the country faces many challenges, as does Kibali which is a real factor in the Congolese economy. I was encouraged, however, by the very positive vision of the DRC’s future which has been presented by the president. An investor-friendly regime is essential for the development of the economy in general and the mining industry in particular. As for Randgold, we continue to expand our footprint in the DRC, most recently through the Ngayu and Moku joint ventures,” Bristow said.