Randgold Resources is one of two mid-tier gold miners quoted on the London stock Exchange main board making announcements today – the other is Petropavlovsk – and CEO Mark Bristow was able to give another upbeat assessment as the company releases its 2012 Annual Report.
What is indeed encouraging about Randgold’s latest reserve and resource update is that despite record gold production last year, the company still managed to increase its attributable reserves – and at a higher overall grade. The new figures show total attributable mineral reserves up by 803,000 ounces to 16.36 million ounces, while overall reserve grade increased from 3.84 to 3.87g/t. Talking resources, as opposed to the better quality reserve figures, total attributable resources fell marginally from 28.25 to 27.21 million ounces, but much of this fall will have been from conversion of resources to the better reserve category. Reserves were calculated at a relatively conservative $1,000 an ounce, while resources were assessed at the higher figure of $1500 an ounce.
Bristow, commenting on the figures, noted that while the gold mining industry in general was decreasing the grade at which it mined in order to maintain production profiles, and thus intensifying cost pressures, Randgold was able to replace its depleted ounces at a higher grade.