Randgold Resources’ results for Q3 were lower than those for Q2 but the company says it remains well positioned to achieve the top end of its production guidance for the year.
Production was lower quarter on quarter due to the Gounkoto super pit pushback and a planned decrease in grade at the flagship Loulo-Gounkoto complex.
Another factor was a mill upgrade project in the first part of the quarter which impacted on throughput at Tongon.
Consequently production of 310 618 ounces was 9% down on Q2 while total cash cost per ounce rose by 17% to $667. Profit of $60.2 million was down 41%.
Comparing the first nine months of this year to the same period in 2016, production was up 11%, total cash cost per ounce was down 9% and profit was up 22% while the group cash position grew as planned.
Mark Bristow, Randgold Chief Executive Officer said the commissioning and automation of Kibali’s underground ore handling systems and their integration with the shaft was currently being completed and was the key for Kibali to meet its 610 000oz guidance for the year.
Otherwise, all the group operations were on target to meet or exceed their annual production plans. In addition, the group continued to look at ways to expand its existing asset base and to discover new world-class gold deposits.
“Brownfields exploration continues to generate good results. We can now confidently project annual production in excess of 600 000 ounces for at least 10 years for both Loulo-Gounkoto and Kibali, and we hope to extend Tongon’s life, as we have done at Morila,” Bristow said.
“One of our stated objectives is to define three new projects over the next four years. In Senegal, our focus is on delivering a Massawa feasibility study with a +3 million ounce reserve that passes our investment filters. Massawa is close to that mark and currently sits comfortably in the upper quartile of global gold development projects.”
In Côte d’Ivoire, Randgold has concluded a joint venture with Endeavour Mining which will give it access to the ground immediately north of its Mankono permit, where the promising Gbongogo target is located. Grassroots exploration in the Democratic Republic of Congo is progressing the Moku and Ngayu projects.
“Randgold stands out as one of only a few gold mining companies that consistently outperforms the gold price and delivers real value to its shareholders, host countries and other stakeholders. Our continuing investment in the future is in line with our long term strategy of creating value through exploration and development, and allocating capital against a strict set of criteria,” Bristow said.
“With a long term plan that is profitable at a gold price of $1 000 per ounce, a growing dividend stream flowing from past investments and a commitment to ongoing investment, I believe Randgold will continue to be a leader in the gold mining industry in terms of value creation for all stakeholders.”