Fire at Randgold Resources mine

LONDON (ShareCast) - A fire has destroyed part of the infrastructure at the Tongon gold mine in Côte d'Ivoire owned by Randgold Resources, the company said Thursday.

The FTSE 100 business said the blaze ignited during a planned shutdown for repairs to the No. 1 cyclone feed pipe on December 24th. The fire then spread up into the No.1 cyclone cluster and moved to the No.2 cyclone cluster.

No injuries were reported after the fire was fully extinguished, but part of the mine was damaged including infrastructure of the mill circuits, cyclone clusters, flotation cells and blowers.

Chief executive Mark Bristow said they were still assessing the full extent of the damage. He said they had started on repairs including temporary relining of equipment while sourcing new parts.

"Tongon aims to have both milling circuits operational again within 10 days," the company said in a statement.

The mill classification circuits are expected to be fully operational within three to four weeks after receiving spare parts which are being sourced for air-freighting to the mine.

The flash flotation circuit repairs are dependent on the lead time for the replacement blowers, which are expected to arrive in a week.

Bristow said Randgold's flagship Loulo complex was on track to achieve its full year guidance of 500,000 ounces and Morila would comfortably exceed its guidance at 200,000 ounces.

However the fire has had a negative impact on a difficult year for Tongon. The revised annual production for the operation is now expected to be approximately 208,000 ounces.

The Chief Executive said he would issue a full update when Randgold reports its fourth quarter results in February.

RD