From Earlier: Randgold Resources-Gounkoto Boosts Loulo Complex
A robust contribution from the new Gounkoto mine enhanced the capacity and flexibility of Randgold Resources' (NASDAQ: GOLD) Loulo complex to increase gold production in 2011 despite the substantial challenges presented by the development of two underground mines and the plant expansion.
Gounkoto accounted for a significant part of the complex's annual production, giving Loulo the capacity to grow overall output while getting its Yalea underground mine on track and pressing ahead with the Gara underground development. Because it accesses the Loulo infrastructure on a toll basis, Gounkoto is expected to recoup its relatively low capital cost by the end of the first quarter of 2012. This means among other things that the State of Mali, a 20% shareholder, will get the benefit of an early dividend as well as full ownership of its stake.
The Mali government has agreed to split the Loulo mining permit, making Gounkoto a standalone operation. Chief executive Mark Bristow said this was a further instance of the importance of Randgold's philosophy of fostering mutually beneficial partnerships with its host countries.
Bristow also said the Loulo complex represented a textbook illustration of the effectiveness of Randgold's strategy of creating value through discovery and development, as well as of its commitment to building sustainably profitable businesses."The complex has grown from an 800000 ounce resource to a fully integrated, long-life opencast and underground operation, targeting production of 500000 ounces this year. With 9 million ounces of reserves, significant grades and a huge upside, it will be profitable at any realistically conceivable gold price," he said.
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