Randgold profit up despite Mali unrest

2012-08-09 11:11

London - West Africa-focused miner Randgold Resources said second-quarter profit rose 10% as it produced more gold than expected regardless of the ongoing unrest in Mali, where its flagship Loulo-Gounkoto mine is located.

The FTSE-100 gold producer posted profit of $142m in the three months to the end of June, beating the $128m it made last year. Output grew 14% to 210 534 ounces in the period, above some analyst forecasts.

Gold output from Loulo-Gounkoto reached a record high, confirming Randgold's assertion in May that the unstable political climate would not impact its operations.

"Despite the political crisis in Mali during the quarter, the complex's production reached a new high of 132 481 ounces," Chief Executive Mark Bristow said in a statement on Thursday.

"Set to deliver 500 000 ounces in 2012, the complex is now poised to take its place as one of the largest gold producers in Africa."

Islamist militant groups control about two-thirds of Mali after hijacking a secular rebellion by Tuareg nationalists earlier this year.

Randgold, which started mining at its Kibali gold project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in June, said that its cash costs per ounce fell by 6% on a quarter-by-quarter basis, a standout achievement as miners across the world grapple with rising costs.

The lower cost base was a result of higher production thanks to more efficient mining as the ore was of a higher grade at Loulo-Gounkoto.

Shares in Randgold, which have risen 19%in the last three months, closed at 6190 pence on Wednesday, valuing the company at £5.6bn.

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