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Randgold Resources Limited (LSE:RRS) announced that it has begun the open pit gold mining Kibali project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is on track for first production at the end of next year.

Randgold Resources Limited (LSE:RRS) announced that it has begun the open pit gold mining Kibali project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is on track for first production at the end of next year.

At the same time, decline development for the underground mine has commenced with a boxcut to open up the tunnel portals, while terracing for the metallurgical plant, earthworks for the first of four hydropower stations and infrastructure construction are all progressing well. Thirteen excavators and 53 trucks are working round the clock and up to the end of June, more than 500000m3 of soil had been excavated and 100 000m3 of fill exceeded. Manufacturing of the mills and hydro turbines is 85% complete and more than 1000 tonnes of structural steel and platework is en route to the site. The project currently employs some 3500 people, of whom 700 are housed on site.

Mark Bristow, chief executive of project developer and 45% shareholder Randgold Resources, said:

The DRC had for years tried to interest the major mining companies in this project but all were daunted by its scale and location. When we came on board in 2009 our first step was to engage the State in a partnership, and the extent to which both parties have delivered on their commitment is evident in Kibali’s brisk rate of development. Another factor in the project’s progress is the Randgold team’s experience of developing gold mines in Africa – Kibali is our fifth – and its hands-on management style. Our executives can drive multiple processes running in parallel, making sure that we deliver on all our objectives, including deadlines and budgets, and keeping seven sets of contractors in step.

Click here to read the full press release.

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