Randgold Resources Kibali Gold Mine is on Track to Hit Production Target
African mining company Randgold Resources (LSE: RRS) has announced its on track to meet the production target for its first full year at its Kibali gold mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The project is expected to deliver 550,000 ounces of gold in 2014.
“The current focus is on ensuring that the metallurgical plant will achieve its designed throughput and recovery rates, and with the secondary sulphide circuit now being commissioned and optimized, we're almost there," said CEO Mark Bristow.
He added, "We have also completed the Nzoro hydropower facility, with the first two turbines running and the remaining two expected in the third quarter. The focus is now on synchronizing it with the diesel power plant.”
The Kibali gold mine, which officially opened two months ago, is a partnership with AngloGold Ashanti and the Congolese state-owned firm SOKIMO. As developer and operator, Randgold Resources owns 45 percent stake in the project with AngloAshanti owning 45 percent and SOKIMO owning the remaining 10 percent.
The current focus on the Kibali mine is synchronizing it with the diesel power plant and proceeding with open pit mining operations as planned. Development of the underground mine progressing nicely and the first ore has been accessed ahead of schedule.
"It's worth noting that despite the scale and pace of the on-site activities, Kibali is maintaining its exemplary safety record, with only one lost-time injury in the first six months of the year," the company said.
The Kibali mine is expected to showcase the potential success gold mining can have in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"The DRC's gold mining industry is still in its infancy and requires patient nurturing for its enormous potential to be fully realized," Bristow said.
"Kibali's success could be used as a foundation on which to encourage further investment and open a new mining frontier to rival the copper rich Katanga province, but only if the DRC maintains an investor-friendly fiscal and regulatory regime."
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.