Randgold says troubled Tongon gold mine to deliver this year

Randgold Resources’ Tongon gold mine in northern Cote d’Ivoire has been underperforming primarily due to some technical problems, but now, according to the company these problems are behind it and it is now geared to build up to full design capacity this year.  This has involved replacing its crusher circuit and installation of a flotation section which between them should see a boost in mill throughput and an improvement in recovery.  At full capacity Tongon should produce in excess of  260,000 ounces of gold a year – currently it is languishing at around 30,000 ounces or more short of this target.  Even so it has been a profitable, and significant, gold producer and Cote d’Ivoire’s biggest gold mine.  More information should be available with the publication of the Randgold’s Q4 and 2014 results next Monday when company CEO, Mark Bristow, will be presenting these in Cape Town on the sidelines of the big Mining Indaba conference.

Read Randgold’s latest release on Tongon issued today, and set out below

Randgold Resources’ Tongon gold mine is poised to deliver on its designed capabilities in 2015, chief executive Mark Bristow told a media briefing here today.

Bristow said the mine’s management team had spent the past year building a solid foundation for Tongon’s future growth by dealing with some serious technical issues such as the replacement of a faulty crushing circuit and generally improving efficiencies while curbing costs.

“Towards the end of last year the recovery programme was producing signs of improvement in key areas such as throughput and recovery.  By now the beneficial effects of those improvements are real and the full flotation circuit upgrade is on track for completion by the end of the quarter,” he said.

“While ramping up production at Tongon, we’ll also continue working with the Ivorian government in their drive to position the country as a preferred destination for new investment in gold exploration and mining.  Côte d’Ivoire’s new mining code is investor-friendly but it should now be actioned as a matter of urgency.  We’re still waiting for the approval of our new permits that will enable Randgold and Côte d’Ivoire to start reaping the benefits of all the good work that has been done.”

Bristow pointed out that Tongon’s tax holiday ends this year.  At the same time, it is forecast to pay back its capital, which means that the State should start to share in the value created in the form of corporate taxes and dividends, on top of the revenue from royalties and other taxes and duties.

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