Randgold Resources said production at its Tongon gold mine in Côte d’Ivoire had been impacted by a fire in the mill section. The fire started December 24 during a planned shutdown for repairs to the No. 1 mill cyclone feed pipe. The fire then spread upward into the No. 1 cyclone cluster and moved to the No. 2 cyclone cluster. The fire has been fully extinguished and no injuries have been reported. Both cyclone clusters, flotation cells and blowers along with associated infrastructure for both milling circuits suffered damage.
Mark Bristow, CEO Randgold Resources, said the full extent of the damage was still being assessed but the mills themselves have been unaffected and the mine had already started to make short term repairs including temporary relining of the various pieces of equipment while sourcing replacement parts.
Tongon aims to have both milling circuits operational again within 10 days. Both mill classification circuits are expected to be fully operational within three to four weeks following receipt of the spare parts, which are currently 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 be evident within the week. The fire adds to what has been a difficult year for Tongon and the revised annual production for that operation was now expected to be approximately 208,000 oz.