In its second quarter earnings report, African gold producer Randgold Resources said production and costs were hurt by issues with its mills, but the improvement expected in the second half of the year should boost its 2016 results to within its market guidance.

Randgold’s Loulo-Gounkoto complex ended the quarter ahead of target, but with one of Tongon’s two milling circuits losing 46 days after a breakdown. Kibali is still dealing with throughput, recovery and dilution challenges presented by multiple ore feeds and group production was down 4% quarter-on-quarter at 281,494 oz while total cash cost per ounce rose 12% to $727/oz. With the higher gold price only partly buffering the impact on the bottom line, profit was down 8% at $58.7 million.

Compared to 2015’s record interim results, however, profit for the six months to June was up 11%, production was steady and total cash cost was 1% lower. Also on the positive side, net cash generated increased by 6% quarter-on-quarter and cash holdings rose by 7% to $272.7 million.

Chief Executive Mark Bristow described the quarter as one of the toughest in years, but said in June and July both Tongon and Kibali made significant progress, with Tongon fixing the mill and completing the commissioning of its new quaternary circuit, and the new Kombokolo satellite pit at Kibali expected to improve its feed flexibility and grades. The development of Kibali as a complete project remains ahead of schedule.

“Looking ahead at the rest of the year, all our teams have been reworking and optimizing their mine plans to ensure that we end 2016 within guidance,” Bristow said. “In addition, we’re intensifying our focus on critical operational issues to ensure that we deliver a substantial second-half improvement.”


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