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Randgold’s annual production guidance remains stable despite slow first quarter

Published by , Assistant Editor
Global Mining Review,

Randgold Resources (Randgold) has announced that its 2018 production guidance remained intact despite a softer first quarter in which it contended with multiple challenges.

Following the full commissioning of its underground Kibali mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the company increased quarterly production by 22% compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year and is on track to achieve its 2018 target of 730 000 oz. 

In Côte d’Ivoire, production at its Tongon gold mine was impacted by a series of work stoppages. Accoridng to the company, with operations now back at full capacity, the mine is committed to clawing back most of the lost production.  Randgold’s flagship operation, the Loulo-Gounkoto complex in Mali, made a strong start to the year although changes in the mining schedule affected the underground grade, impacting on production.

Results for the quarter, show group production lower at 286 890 oz compared with 340 958 in 4Q17. Total cash cost per ounce was also higher at US$720/oz compared with US$627/oz in 4Q17. Profit was down at US$66.5 million compared to US$87.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Cash and cash equivalents increased by 3% to US$739.5 million while the company remains debt-free.  At the recently held AGM, shareholders approved the 2017 dividend of US$2 per share, a 100% increase on the previous year.

Chief Executive of Randgold, Mark Bristow, said coming off a strong prior quarter and record performance in 2017 the company had anticipated a slower start to this year with a gradual build-up throughout the year.  Despite the issues that arose, Randgold was still confident of meeting its annual production guidance of 1.3 -1.35 million oz.

“It was a very active quarter, in which we ramped up the underground production at Kibali, advanced the Gounkoto super pit project and the development of the Baboto satellite pit at Loulo, and prepared the Ntiola satellite deposit at Morila for mining,” Bristow explained.

“At the same time, we also successfully handled the difficult labour situation at Tongon, sorted out the sequencing at Loulo and continued negotiations relating to the new mining code with the DRC government.This demonstrates the depth and competence of our management team, and its ability to deal with complex operational and socio-political issues on multiple fronts.”

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