Action plan on track to deliver performance upturn at Tongon
Friday, October 24, 2014
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Saturday 25 October 2014 - The remedial measures implemented to overcome the technical problems that have impacted Tongon are starting to produce the desired results with the mine’s performance improving, says Randgold Resources chief executive Mark Bristow.
Speaking at a briefing for local media here today, Bristow said mill throughput and the recovery rate, the main challenges faced by the mine, were both being turned around by a determined effort on the part of the Tongon management team. Their action plan also includes the replacement of the faulty crushers, which has now been completed with the new crushers currently being integrated into the larger circuit, and the expansion of the flotation circuit, which will start when the necessary equipment arrives on site next month.
“By early next year Tongon should have achieved its targeted performance levels, but the improvement is already evident, and despite the setbacks and challenges the management team has had to contend with, the mine should come within 10% of its production guidance of 260 000 ounces for 2014, with costs well contained,” Bristow said.
In the meantime, he said, infill drilling in the mine’s south pit had confirmed the potential for increasing the resource and the mineable reserve to replace ounces depleted during the year. More details of this will be provided with the group’s third quarter results next month.
Elsewhere in Côte d’Ivoire, Randgold has acquired two new permits while more are pending. Thanks to the confidence inspired by the country’s new mining code, Bristow said, Randgold was stepping up its investment in exploration there. It was also rolling out its sustainability programmes in line with the code.
Bristow said Randgold was working closely with the Ivorian ministry of health and local authorities to ward off the potential threat posed by the Ebola outbreak elsewhere in West Africa. “Although the Ebola infestations are not present in Côte d’Ivoire, we believe in being prepared and so does the government, and we are implementing extensive measures to protect the health of our employees as well as our surrounding communities,” he said.