The good health of gold production has been confirmed in our country by the recent Barrick / Randgold merger. The resulting world leader has five industrial structures out of 10 major assets.
Increasingly, companies operating in the same business sectors are seeking to unite in order to increase their competitiveness in order to cope with tighter competition. This type of transaction, aimed at strengthening its portfolio, usually gives convincing results. A specific example is in front of us – merger / acquisition of BHM by BMS, which is currently positioned as the leading bank in our country.
It is on the world gold market that the South African company Randgold Resources (the largest producer in French-speaking Africa and the second largest on the continent) and the Canadian company Barrick Gold Corporation (the world leader in gold in 2017) are more formally merged into 1the outside January 2019, after almost two years of negotiations. This merger spawned society leader Barrick / Randgold's gold mining sector, which includes five of the top 10 gold mining industries, including Cortez and Goldtrike in Nevada, Loulo-Gounkoto in Mali and Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic.
In 2017, these companies produced more than 6.6 million ounces, including 1,315 million ounces of gold for Randgold, created in 1995 by geologist Mark Bristow. Remember that Canadian society, which is present in Tanzania, receives about 75% of its annual production from the American continent. This merger will only strengthen the position of the third manufacturer of the yellow metal in Africa, our country. Here you can add that Mali is going to achieve a record gold production in 2018, when more than 60 tons of gold (60,893,458 kg) of industrial production have already been announced by the department in charge of mines.
It was in this context of the sustainable recovery of their activities and the consolidation of their assets that the mining company Randgold Resources held last Tuesday on its website in Lulo the board of directors of the mines Lulo and Guuntoko (its two mining complexes), followed by a press conference. The conference was moderated by Barrick CEO Mark Bristow, who is also the executive director of RandGold Resources. At a press conference, the Regional Director of West Africa, Mahamadu Samake, the Director General of Operations for West Africa, Chiaka Bertha, and several other guests joined the RandGold Resources Executive Director.
In his opening remarks, Mark Bristow explained that the high-end Barrick / RandGold Group complex continues to invest in its future, exploring additional reserves and modernizing the plant and equipment. Referring to the preliminary economic assessment of the Loulo 3 open-pit mine and the underground mine project, he indicated that the assessment had been completed, but drilling was continuing to expand the high grade mineralization zone. located south of the Yalea field. According to him, the exploration of the Farab structure with the permission of Gunkoto showed the potential for expanding and combining several areas of mineralization.
As for the balance, he showed that in 2018, the company recorded the fourth consecutive quarterly improvement in gold production, despite an illegal stop of work, which led to the fact that it did not reach the target figure of 690,000 ounces for the entire year of 4%. Despite this, 2018 was a record year of production of more than 5 million tons, processed at a level close to the reserves of the complex, he said. In addition, he stressed that the continued profitable growth of Loulo-Gounkoto is a prime example of a true partnership between investors, managers and the government.
To this end, he referred to the recent exemption from taxes on the development of a Gunkoto super pass as a typical example of mutually beneficial cooperation. “Like RandGold, we have worked in Mali for 25 years and have always worked fruitfully with subsequent governments. We look forward to continuing this relationship with the current government. Our tax disputes are still on the agenda, and we hope that through extrajudicial mediation we will find a solution acceptable to both parties, ”he added.
Regarding the existing facilities, a second mill was commissioned in Yalea, as well as a second radar for the geotechnical monitoring of the Gunkoto open-pit mine, he said. To this should be added the full integration of the automatic distribution system in Gunkoto. Among other things, the optimization pipeline project in Gar was completed and the expansion of the tailings pond was continued. In addition, improvements continued in integrated safety and environmental management. The complex received a new version of ISO 14001 environmental certification, retaining its OHSAS 18001 safety and health certificate and supporting development programs and community projects, the RandGold Executive Director welcomed.
Abdul K. KULIBALI