PRODUCTION from the Tongon gold mine in Cote d’Ivoire will miss management’s expectations in 2014, the chief executive of FTSE 100-quoted miner Randgold Resources has admitted.
The Tongon mine is expected to produce 260,000 ounces this year, which is an increase on 2013’s gold output but slightly behind the internal target, Mark Bristow told a media briefing in the West African country at the weekend.
“It has been another challenging year for Tongon but its management has coped admirably with the operational challenges as well as with the need to adjust to the lower gold price,” he said.
Production at the Tongon mine is “slowly improving”, Bristow said, but its recovery rate – the proportion of valuable material obtained when processing the gold – is still struggling to break 80 per cent for the year.
Randgold Resources plans to spend $12m (£7.3m) expanding the flotation process, used to chemically extract minerals, to lift the recovery rate. This is targeted for completion by the end of the year, with a forecast payback period of eight to 10 months.