“That will definitely be more than 60 per cent because we should have Gounkoto reserves in by then,” he said. The latest estimates for the Gounkoto project, close to Randgold’s flagship Loulo complex in Mali, are for an inferred mineral resource of 2.65m ounces based on a scoping study.
Earlier yesterday, the FTSE 100-listed company posted a better-than-expected surge in annual profit and brought forward by one year the expected start up of production from the Kibali project to January 2014, pushing the shares higher.
The shares were up six per cent at 4,476p, outperforming a 3.2 per cent rise in the UK mining index, before closing at 4,480p.
Bristow said the Kibali joint venture could be accelerated further if the relocation of locals, a critical issue, can be shortened and the site cleared earlier. Randgold and AngloGold Ashanti have a 90 per cent stake in Kibali, one of the largest undeveloped gold deposits in Africa, with the Democratic Republic of Congo holding the remaining 10 per cent.
Overall, gold production rose to 488,255 ounces from 428,426 ounces in 2008, helped by record production from Loulo. Bristow said Loulo continued to produce at record levels.