Mark Bristow is the CEO of Randgold Resources, an African focused gold mining and exploration company, and he believes that Côte d’Ivoire has the potential to become one of sub-Saharan Africa’s key exploration destinations. Côte d’Ivoire was fairly unexplored but extremely prospective for gold and other metals, which could potentially provide gold investors with a platform to launch a sustainable mining industry. It is said that the West African country has the most advanced infrastructure in the region and a competent civil service.
It has been of major emphasis that the government ensures that it’s mining code and legislation, which was currently under review, continued an investor-friendly approach, while government should act as a partner to the mining corporations, to generate long-term economic value so that the benefits can be reaped from all stakeholders.
It was 2 years ago when Randgold commissioned and started production at Côte d’Ivoire’s largest gold mine Tongo, and already to date have produced over 600 000 oz of gold and contributed more than $50-million to the State in the form of royalties and taxes, despite a difficult start to the project. Tongo mine was commissioned amid the unrest that followed a disputed outcome of the presidential election and had, in addition to suffering erratic power supply from the national grid, experienced some plant start-up issues, which were being dealt with through a number of plant expansion and upgrade projects. The mine’s performance has seen steady growth and improvements.
Randgold remains dedicated to working with the country’s government to build a sustainable mining industry and make use of the Tongon operation as a platform from which to find and develop world-class gold deposits. Randgold geologists were aggressively exploring its portfolio of 15 permits elsewhere in the country for further multimillion-ounce gold deposits.