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MINING IN AFRICA
TARGETING NEARLY 600 000OZ IN 2014
Report by Lionel Williams
The new Kibali gold mine in the Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC) could be the catalyst for substantial
long-term value creation in the country if it is handled
correctly by all its stakeholders. Randgold is developing
and operating the mine which, with a projected annual
production of some 600 000oz of gold, reserves of
11Moz and resources of 21Moz, will rank as one of the
largest of its kind in Africa.
T he new Kibali gold mine in
the Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC) – which
has just poured its first gold and
started limited production – could
be the catalyst for substantial long-
term value creation in the country
if it is handled correctly by all its
stakeholders. This is the opinion of Randgold
Resources chief executive Mark
Bristow, whose company has
developed and is operating mine.
Randgold and AngloGold Ashanti
each hold a 45% interest in Kibali, with DRC parastatal
Sokimo owning the remaining 10% stake.
chief executive Mark
Bristow – talks to his
colleagues. Kibali poured its first gold in late September, well ahead
of the original target date, and has since started limited
commercial production from its open pit mine. It is
expected to exceed its 30 000oz production forecast for
the fourth quarter of this year and is on track to meet its
target of above 550 000oz for 2014.
Bristow said the successful start-up of Kibali represented
a considerable feat of geology, metallurgy, engineering
and logistics, as well as negotiation and diplomacy.
“The Randgold team only moved on site in January
2010 and in less than four years it has built a world-class
gold mine in one of Africa’s remotest regions, in the
process more than doubling its reserves to 11.6Moz and
increasing its resources to 21Moz,” he pointed out.
“Our focus now is on securing steady-state production
at Kibali while completing the rest of the development.
But we’re also still maintaining a strong emphasis on
exploration, which has traditionally been the driver of
Randgold’s growth. At Kibali, where an upgrade of the
underground mine plan has already delivered an interim
increase in reserves, continued exploration points to a
further upside,” Bristow stated.
Bristow noted that despite some apprehension in the
market about the wisdom of attempting such a giant
project in this region, Kibali had been brought into
production ahead of schedule and within budget.
“We were able to prove the sceptics wrong because all
the stakeholders – notably the DRC government and
people – wanted this mine, and cooperated energetically
to bring it into being. The next challenge is to continue
our partnership in this spirit, and to work together to make
Kibali successful, so that it can serve as a foundation
for building general economic welfare in this region,” he
declared. The open pit mine is producing 1Mtpm of ore and the
plant is ramping up well, already achieving 80% of its
It is currently ramping up to full capacity on the plant’s
oxide circuit with the completion of the remaining plant
and hydropower stations, and the commissioning
of the sulphide circuit, scheduled for next year.
The development of the underground mine is also
Randgold is developing and operating the mine, which
with a projected annual production of some 600 000oz
of gold, reserves of 11Moz and resources of 21Moz,
will rank as one of the largest of its kind in Africa. The
mine is being developed in two concurrent phases at
an estimated initial cost of US$1.7 billion, starting as an
open pit operation, with the underground mine, already
well advanced, scheduled to access ore in 2015.
24 MINING REVIEW AFRICA ISSUE 12 2013
Overall view of Randgold’s Kibali gold project in the DRC.