Quarterly Report 30 June 2007
PROJECTS AND EVALUATION
LOULO UNDERGROUND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
The main development of the Yalea underground mine at Loulo is well underway. The sinking of the twin decline system started as per the schedule agreed to with the development contractor Shaft Sinkers. This development continued throughout the quarter and achieved a total of 526 linear metres. This means that each decline has now achieved a distance of 400 metres from surface, at a vertical depth of 75 metres.
Other construction work also continued apace, with the concrete tunnel construction inside the boxcut starting off and the office and workshop complex nearing completion.
The training of the Malian workforce progressed well during the quarter with the first Malian safety and training officer being trained and appointed. In addition, the project also finished the quarter without any Lost Time Injuries since its inception in August 2006.
A new underground mine design and scheduling for Yalea was completed during this quarter. It was realised that the previous development design, layout and schedule was not optimum in exploiting the big increase in reserves declared for 2006. The new Yalea design incorporates many improvements, most notably in terms of ventilation, stope access as well as waste and ore handling.
As a result of drilling carried out in the Gara South area, an additional inferred resource of 400 000 ounces at 4.9g/t has been outlined in this area. On completion of further infill drilling, the mine design, incorporating the innovations of the new Yalea design, will be extended to exploit this additional ore.
The feasibility study drilling programme has progressed well and details are given in the section on exploration activities. Geotechnical data is being collected and samples have been taken for metallurgical testing. The environmental and social impact assessment for the mine has commenced and will be compiled by Digby Wells & Associates. They have made an initial visit and will be carrying out the work in association with local consultants approved by Agence National de L'Environment.
Randgold Resources has planned to complete the feasibility study to a bankable level by the end of next year. The company believes the people and governing structures in Côte d'Ivoire are committed to peace and if all proceeds according to plan, Randgold Resources will produce gold from its third gold mine in late 2010.
A significant part of the feasibility study schedule is a re-scoping study which is planned for the forthcoming quarter. This will focus on reviewing the design capacity of the planned processing facility given the promising results received to date from the ongoing drilling programmes. It will also assist with scheduling the ordering of "long lead items".