The mine has been brought into production after a massive operation which included the resettlement of more than 4 000 families to a new model village and the substantial upgrading of the local infrastructure. The construction process alone has required a team of more than 7 000 people on site at one time.
Randgold is developing and operating the mine which, with reserves of 11 million ounces and resources of 21 million ounces and projected annual production of some 600 000 ounces of gold, will rank as one of the largest of its kind in Africa. The mine is being developed in two concurrent phases at an estimated initial cost of US$1.7 billion. It has started as an open pit operation whilst the underground mine is being developed via twin decline and vertical shaft access which are already well advanced, and is scheduled to access UG ore in 2015.
Kibali comprises 10 permits covering an area of 1 836km² in the Moto goldfields of the north east DRC, some 560km north east of the city of Kisangani and 150km west of the Ugandan border town of Arua. Kibali is a joint venture between Randgold (45%), AngloGold Ashanti (45%) and the Congolese parastatal SOKIMO (10%).
It is the fifth gold mine developed by Randgold Resources.
Willem Jacobs and Minister of Mines, Martin Kabwelulu Labilo, shake hands on the first bar