Randgold says 2012 target realistic despite Mali unrest

Randgold_Resources_gold_mine_-_crusherRandgold Resources has brushed off concerns that its target for 2012 would be affected by the unrest in Mali after it told investors it was on track to meet its production guidance for the year

The West Africa-focused gold miner’s first quarter profits rose to US$104 million, up from $45.9 million for the same period a year earlier.

The company’s profits, however, were down on the previous quarter’s $144.7 million following a drop in sales from its key Loulo-Gounkoto complex in the west of Mali and after experiencing stoppages and lower grades at it Tongon mine in Côte d'Ivoire.

“Despite the challenges experienced at both Tongon and in Mali during the first quarter, the company remains committed to the production targets outlined at the start of the year,” the company said in a statement.

“The resumption of civilian rule in Mali is expected to ensure that the operations continue to run at full production.”

Mali, home to close to two-thirds of Randgold’s output, has suffered from civil unrest after a military junta overthrew the country’s president in March.

Shares in Randgold, which expects to produce 825,000 to 865,000 ounces of gold in 2012, have dropped 20 per cent since the military-supported coup toppled the previous government.

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