Will the $2.5 billion gold mine mean a renewed value for the resource-rich region?
The mine will rank as one of the largest gold mines in Africa when it is in full production and is expected to produce an average of 600,000 ounces of gold per year over the first 12 years of its life.
According to Kibali Goldmines, the mine should have reserves until 2031, with 550,000 ounces of gold expected to be produced this year. Kibaili is expected to produce an average of 600,000 ounces of gold per year over the first 12 years of its life.
The $2.5-billion project will also create 7,000 jobs, 80 percent of them held by Congolese.
“The government now has an important opportunity to show the world that it is welcoming of gold mining by helping to create what can in a short time become one of the largest gold producers in the world and an engine of growth for this region and this country,” said AngloGold Ashanti chief executive Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan.
The mine is owned by Randgold Resources and AngloGold Ashanti, with Randgold developing and operating the mine. Each company has a 45 percent stake in the investment with the remaining 10 percent interest held by the Congolese government.
At the opening ceremony, chairman Randgold chief executive Mark Bristow said the successful development of Kibali could herald the birth of a new DRC economic region to rival Katanga Province.
“To achieve that, we cannot rest here. We need to ensure that we deliver the returns expected by the investors who entrusted us with their money. We have to run a profitable mine, focused on long term viability, that pays taxes, and employs and develops citizens from this region and this country. Kibali must become the catalyst that triggers the additional investment required to grow a strong regional economy,” he said.
Although the mine is still underway as both an operating mine a development project, Kibali produced 88,200 ounces of gold and a made a profit of $68.3 million between September to December 2013.
The Kibali mine has the potential to be exactly what the region has been looking for in terms of economical and workforce success.