Randgold Resources (LSE:RRS) is continuing to provide life-changing benefits to local communities in which it operates.
At the company’s Loulo-Gounkoto gold mining complex, the largest of its kind in Mali and one of the largest in Africa, Randgold Resources is continuing its commitment of sharing the value it creates with its stakeholders, including the people of its host countries.
"As the two key stakeholders in this complex, the government of Mali and the management of Loulo-Gounkoto have a joint responsibility to ensure that it continues to generate substantial benefits for its communities and the country, not just for today but for future generations," said Randgold Resources CEO Mark Bristow.
"One of the issues we still have to address together is the challenge of illegal mining, which impacts on Loulo-Gounkoto's capacity to deliver these benefits and, even worse, is threatening the integrity of Mali's vitally important national assets, damaging the environment and exploiting sectors of the community."
Randgold has implemented various programs aimed at improving skills growth in Mali including scholarship programs, training and career development. The company has set up their core initiatives such as potable water provision, education, health care and food security through community-led commission, allowing these investment projects to be run by the community.
Enhancing Mali’s economy is another initiative. The company is engaged in helping finance small businesses, particularly those started by women in the community. Randgold has also implemented relevant community development committees to spark new developments in areas such as agriculture and construction.
According to Bristow, the mining industry has the potential to grow substantially if its productive partnership with the Mali government is sustained and current obstacles to development are ironed out.
"A stable fiscal regime, a supportive infrastructure and an investor-friendly mining code are obviously essential if we are to continue building on what we've achieved so far in Mali," Bristow said.
"Power provision is another key issue. Power currently accounts for about 30% of any Malian mine's operating costs and if we could access the national grid at a reasonable price it would not only extend the lives of the existing mines, increasing the industry's contribution to the Malian treasury, but would open the door to the development of new mining projects which are not viable in the current cost structure."
At the Loulo-Gounkoto complex, Randgold owns 80 percent of the project while the state of Mali owns the rest.