Morila, Mali, 25 July 2007 - The Morila gold mine, a partnership between Randgold Resources, AngloGold Ashanti and the government of Mali, is continuing to invest substantially in exploration for further economic gold deposits within its lease area, says Randgold Resources chief executive Mark Bristow.
The partnership spent US$4.5 million on exploration in 2006 and this year has budgeted a further US$6.5 million for a 53 000 metre drilling programme within Morila's 200 km² lease area. The aim of this exploration is to extend the mine's resource base and hence its life beyond the current 2012 horizon.
Bristow told journalists at a media day that Morila exemplified two of Randgold Resources' core beliefs: that true value is created through discovery and development; and that sustainable mining operations require a mutually beneficial relationship between mining companies and their host countries.
He noted that Morila - which was discovered, financed and developed by Randgold Resources - had made an enormous contribution of some 354 billion FCFA to the Malian economy since it went into production in October 2000.
""This great mine has already produced 4.4 million ounces of gold. Along with our partners, AngloGold Ashanti and the Malian Government, Randgold Resources is committed not only to ensuring that it continues to produce at optimal capacity for the duration of its planned life but that its entire lease area is intensively explored to determine if any further economic gold mineralisation is present,"" he said.
""Morila's success would not have been possible without the support of Mali's government and people. In fact, Randgold Resources' experience at Morila has been so positive that it has encouraged us to develop another major gold mine in Mali. Our Loulo mine is already producing some 250 000 ounces of gold per year from two open-pit operations and we are now developing the first of two underground mines there which will elevate the project to true world-class status.""