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DR Congo, one of the world's biggest gold producers, formally opened one of the continent's largest gold mines in the far northeast of the country
The Kibali gold mine represents an investment of more than US$2.5bn by Randgold Resources and AngloGold Ashanti.
Kibali will rank as one of the largest gold mines in Africa when in full production, expecting to produce an average of 600,000 ounces of gold per annum over the first twelve years of its life.
Kibali is owned by Randgold and AngloGold, each with a 45 per cent stake, and the DR Congo state gold mining company Société Miniere de Kilo-Moto.
While still a work in progress as both an operating mine and a development project, Kibali produced 88,200 ounces of gold and made a profit of US$68.3mn between September to December 2013, AngloGold said in a statement.
“The government now has an important opportunity to show the world that it is welcoming of gold mining by helping to create what can in a short time become one of the largest gold producers in the world and an engine of growth for this region and this country,” said AngloGold Ashanti chief executive Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan.
The Kibali gold mine is located in the northeast of DR Congo, 150 km west of the Ugandan border town of Arua. DR Congo has been ramping up copper output in recent years and also produces almost half of the world’s supply of tantalum.
Kibali Goldmines said the mine should have reserves until 2031, with 15.6 tonnes of gold expected to be produced this year.
DR Congo has massive resources of gold, copper and cobalt but also diamonds, iron, nickel, manganese, bauxite, uranium and cassiterite, the most important source of tin.