Africa (26/10/2017) -focused miner Randgold Resources said on Thursday that Mali was in many ways a model of its kind for Africa’s other mining countries, despite “some concern” that continued “upward revisions” to its mining code was diminishing its ability, relative to its peers, to attract investment.
According to CEO Mark Bristow, any further changes should involve all stakeholders and in particular, the mining industry, which has made and committed more investment than any other sector of the economy.
“We, as partners, need to reach a common understanding of the mining investment conventions when it comes to tax and other revenue collection,” he said in a press release.
LSE- and Nasdaq-listed Randgold characterised its Mali operations as a “robust”, with the prospect of exceeding their production targets for 2017.
Bristow pointed to the sustained profitability that the Morila and the Loulo-Gounkoto complex have delivered, bolstering the miner’s contribution of between 6% and 9% of Mali’s yearly gross domestic product. Since the mines were commissioned, their direct contribution to the country’s economy, in the form of taxes, salaries and payments to local suppliers had amounted to $2-billion for Morila, $2.9-billion for Loulo and $0.7-billion for Gounkoto.
Randgold is set to continue facilitating investment in the country.
Morila, which was the first mine Randgold built on an orebody it had discovered, was successfully converted into a tailings retreatment operation and has now also started mining Domba, the first of three satellite pits close to its plant. These are expected to extend its life to 2020, bolstering its continued profitability as well as its capacity to fund its own eventual closure, Bristow said.
“At Gounkoto, work has started on the pushback for the superpit, which has been approved by the Minister of Mines. Both at Gounkoto and at Loulo, brownfields exploration should again enable the complex to replace all the reserves it consumed in what is expected to be a record production year. Loulo-Gounkoto still has at least another ten years of life ahead of it. Exploration is also continuing to the north and south of the key orebodies, with promising results, the company advised.
Randgold has guided for consolidated full-year 2017 gold production of 1.25-million to 1.3-million ounces at total cash cost of production ranging between $580/oz and $630/oz.