Bamako, Mali, 22 April 2008 - Randgold Resources, which earlier this year assumed operational responsibility for the Morila joint venture, is committed to ensuring that the balance of the gold mine's life is fully exploited for the benefit of all stakeholders, chief executive Mark Bristow told members of the media at a briefing in the Mali capital today.
The company is currently completing a thorough evaluation of all aspects of the operation and this will form the basis of a plan designed to optimise Morila's remaining resources over the rest of its life. The mine has five years of life left on its current reserves, but exploration aimed at extending the resource base is continuing.
Bristow noted that since it was commissioned in 2000, Morila has produced almost 5 million ounces of gold and delivered more than a billion US dollars in cash profits. It has made a significant contribution to the Malian economy, not only in dividends, taxes and royalties paid to the state, but also in terms of job creation, skills development, local procurement and community upliftment initiatives.
"Although it is now past its prime, Morila is still a prolific gold and profit generator, which is forecast to produce approximately 1.4 million ounces of gold over the balance of its currently foreseeable life," Bristow said.
"The challenge is threefold: to ensure through careful and attentive management that Morila meets its commercial targets; to find further ounces which could lead to extending the mine's life, if possible; and to prepare for the mine's eventual closure with due regard for all stakeholder and community concerns."