Post-fire Tongon heads back to normal

19 January 2013

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 19 January 2013 - Production at Randgold Resources’ Tongon mine in Côte d’Ivoire is returning to normal after a fire in the mill section of its plant three weeks ago, the company said today. Both mill circuits are expected to be fully operational within 2 weeks and, despite a series of setbacks, the mine produced 210 000 ounces of gold in 2012.

Speaking to journalists in Abidjan today, Randgold chief executive Mark Bristow said Tongon exemplified the company’s long-term vision and its tenacity of purpose. The mine’s development had been given the go-ahead at a time of political volatility in Côte d’Ivoire; it had been commissioned in the climate of confusion created by the disputed presidential election; it had contended with the disruption of frequent power outages; and now it was overcoming the effects of the fire.

“Tongon represents the biggest single investment to date in this part of Côte d’Ivoire, and when we made that investment, we invested not only in a mine but in this country,” Bristow said. “We are currently exploring our extensive tenements elsewhere in Côte d’Ivoire and we hope to discover further multi-million ounce gold deposits here and, with the support of the government, to develop these into world-class mines.”

Bristow said Randgold’s policy of partnering with its host countries and sharing the value it created equitably among its stakeholders was the key to its success in Africa.

“For this to work, however, it requires our partners to share our own long-term commitment to developing and operating sustainably profitable mines and to building substantial gold mining industries in their countries. It is for this reason that we encourage governments to promulgate attractive mining codes for investors through competitive and stable tax regimes,” he said.