The Loulo-Gounkoto complex is located in the west of Mali near the border with Senegal. Both the Loulo and Gounkoto mines are owned by Randgold (80%) and the State of Mali (20%).
Randgold’s flagship operation currently comprises the Loulo underground mines, Yalea and Gara, and the Gounkoto open pit mine. Production from the Loulo open pit operations started in 2005 followed by the development of the underground mines. It is now firmly established as a long life, high production operation and, based on current reserves, the complex has a scheduled life of mine to 2017.
Gounkoto, a greenfields discovery in 2009, poured its first gold in June 2011. The ore from Gounkoto is processed by the Loulo plant under a tolling agreement. Following the completion of a super pit feasibility study, the Gounkoto pits are scheduled to be mined until 2024 and there is still the potential for an underground mine to extract the remnant high grade orebody below the super pit.
In 2016, gold production at the Loulo-Gounkoto complex was 707 116oz, 12% above the prior year. The increase in production was due to a 7% increase in tonnes processed, a 4% increase in head grade milled to 5.0g/t and a 1% increase in recovery. Total cash cost per ounce dropped by 17% to $563/oz compared to the prior year at $675/oz.
Gold sales of $881.5 million were 22% higher than the previous year. Profit from mining activity (before interest, tax and depreciation) increased by 61% to $481.7 million due to the higher ounces sold and an 8% increase in the average gold price received.
Achieved in 2016
- 12% increase in gold production to 707 116oz +37 000oz more than guidance
- 17% reduction in total cash cost per ounce to $563/oz
- 7% increase in plant throughput to +4.8Mtpa
- 1% increase in gold recovery to 91.0%
- Upgraded elution circuit
- Commissioned two additional medium speed generators
- Completed underground refrigeration project
- Completed Gounkoto underground versus superpit trade-off and definitive feasibility study
- ISO 14001 environmental and OHSAS 18001 health and safety management systems recertified
- Lost time injury frequency rate down 23% at Loulo
- Malaria incidence rate down 37% at Loulo and 18% at Gounkoto
- Ore reserves increased
Targeted in 2017
- Produce 690 000oz of gold
- Maintain total cash costs below $600/oz
- Sustain plant throughput above 4.8Mt
- Sustain plant recovery above 91%
- Replace ore reserves through ongoing exploration
- Maintain ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certification
- Reduce LTIFR
- Reduce malaria incidence rate
- Continue community and agricollege development
Loulo-Gounkoto Complex Key 2016 Results