Randgold shares plunge almost 13% after military coup in Mali

Randgold Resources (LON:RRS, NASDAQ:GOLD) shares fell close to 13% this morning after a military coup in Mali, where the company has three gold mines that account for most of its bullion production.

In a statement, CEO Mark Bristow said the company was keeping a close watch on the situation and that his operations in the West African country are running normally.

Renegade Malian soldiers went on state television earlier to declare they had seized power in protest at the government’s failure to quell a rebellion in the north of the country.

Financial Post reports the coup has been fronted by soldiers of the rank of captain or lower and, if successful, “will add a new layer of insecurity to a Saharan region, battling local al-Qaeda agents and a stream of weapons trafficked from Libya since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.”

Bristow, who is at the company’s Loulo complex in the west of Mali, about 350 kilometres from the capital Bamako, said the current state of affairs in the country was calm although exact details were unclear.

The company is in touch with its sources within the country and it said it would make a statement once it had obtained more clarity on the situation.

“Malians respect laws and I don’t believe this will come with a high-handed change in political direction.  We don’t expect any subsequent governments to disregard proper and due process.” Bristow said.

Randgold operates the miens Loulo and Gounkoto as well as the Morila joint venture.

(Photo: Soldiers on Mali televisionvideo by Reuters via YouTube)

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