Wednesday 25 April 2018

Gold profits fall 12pc at Randgold Resources as prices slide from crisis-induced peak

Gold profits are falling.
Gold profits are falling.

John Ficenec

The largest London-listed gold miner has reported a sharp fall in annual profits as record mining production failed to offset the sliding gold price.

Randgold Resources said fourth-quarter pre-tax profits were down 43pc to $73.3m from $129.7m in the same period last year.

The price of gold has fallen from a peak of $1,900 an ounce in September 2011, to as low as $1,140 in the past year. Yesterday it stood at round $1,240.

The company said pre-tax profits for the full year were down 12pc to $353m, from $402.5m in 2013.

The mining company extracted a record amount of the precious metal from its mines in Mali, the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last year, bringing total production to 1.15m ounces, up from 0.9m ounces a year earlier.

Mark Bristow, chief executive, said: "Our long-standing goal of reaching an annual production of 1.2m ounces in 2015 is now comfortably within reach."

The company's main mine at Loulo-Gounkoto in Mali, in which it holds an 80pc stake, increased production by 10pc to 639,219 ounces.

A new mine at Kibali in the DRC, in which Randgold Resources holds a 45pc stake, begun producing gold in September 2013. The company said the mine produced 526,627 ounces in its first full year of production. The group's mining activity at Tongon in the Ivory Coast produced 227,100 ounces of gold, Randgold Resources holds an 89pc interest in the mine.

The company said the gold content of the rocks mined at Loulo-Gountkoto declined during the year and this resulted in higher costs to produce more gold. The cash cost per ounce of gold produced rose by 3pc to $712 an ounce, from $692 an ounce in 2013. Mr Bristow said the company can still maintain the profitability of its mines with gold at $1,000 an ounce.

He said he was closely monitoring "stress" within other miners for takeover opportunities. The mining group increased the final dividend to 60 cents per share from 50 cents last year.

Irish Independent

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