Robust Q3 results point way to record year for Randgold
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
London, Thursday 6 November 2014 - The ongoing ramp-up of the Kibali mine led a strong overall performance by all of Randgold’s operations in a quarter in which production reached a new record level and costs were well contained.
Results for the three months to September, released today, show production of 299 320 ounces, up 8% on the previous quarter. Production for the first nine months of the year was up 37% on the comparable period in 2013, reflecting Kibali’s contribution and the impact of expansion and upgrade projects at the other operations. Total cash cost per ounce of $692/oz was well contained, down 1% on the previous quarter.
Earnings per share increased by 11% to $0.63 quarter on quarter but profit was affected by foreign exchange adjustments and at $66.0 million was just marginally ahead of the previous quarter. Profit from mining of $172.6 million was up 6% quarter on quarter. By the end of the quarter, Randgold had returned to its debt-free status, having repaid its revolving credit facility.
Kibali is nearing operational stability as it continues to ramp up mining and production, and the operation is well on its way to achieving its goal of delivering an average of 650 000 ounces per year over the next 10 years, chief executive Mark Bristow said. The mine produced 145 152 ounces in Q3, substantially up on Q2’s 91 137 ounces. Production at the group’s flagship Loulo-Gounkoto complex was 8% down at 160 286 ounces but Bristow said it was still on track to exceed its 2014 guidance of 640 000 ounces.
Tongon increased quarter on quarter production by 22% to 63 832 ounces on the back of improved mill feed grade, gold recovery and mill tonnage throughput, and total cash cost per ounce was reduced by 15% to $799. Bristow said the improved performance was attributable to the upgrade and expansion measures taken by Tongon and an intensified focus on efficiencies. Preliminary drilling has identified an additional 450 000 ounces of resources at the mine.
“With production standing at 860 366 ounces at the end of September, we’re well on our way to passing the million-ounce landmark before the end of this year. It’s been another challenging quarter but our operations have done well and it’s particularly gratifying to note that despite the growth of the scale and complexity of our operations, our safety record continues to improve,” Bristow said.
“It’s also a good feeling to be back in the black after repaying our revolving credit facility. We’re still growing our existing businesses and our recently restructured and reinforced exploration team is out in the field hunting for additional ounces and new opportunities.”
Bristow said while the Ebola outbreak in West Africa had not directly affected Randgold’s mines, the group had mounted an extensive campaign to protect its employees and host communities against the disease.