[miningmx.com] — RANDGOLD Resources has maintained its gold production forecast for the year to end-December within 5% of the original guidance of 477,000oz despite the production problems experienced in the June quarter.
CEO Mark Bristow commented, “the increased production from Tongon will almost make up for the expected shortfall from Loulo while Morila is holding steady.
“This is a creditable performance given the very substantial challenges we’re dealing with this year at the start of our multi-mine growth phase.’
Production from the Loulo mine in Mali was hit by extensive power blackouts during the quarter while Loulo is still settling down its plant expansion project as well as implementing the Yalea underground development.
Bristow added that the target for the start of construction of the Kibali mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is being pulled forward six months to the middle of 2011 because of the rapid progress made in the pre-development phase.
The Randgold share price suffered a rare setback following the initial announcement of the production problems at Loulo in July which knocked it from an all-time high of ₤65 to current levels around ₤57.
Despite this Randgold remains one of the best performing global gold stocks having risen sixfold from around ₤11 over the past five years during a period when the share prices of majors like Gold Fields and AngloGold Ashanti have stagnated.