#Randgold Resources Limited#Mark Bristow#West Africa#gold

Randgold Resources CEO: Our Industry has to Reinvent Itself

While the price of gold continues to decline, one mining company isnt worried. Randgold Resources CEO Mark Bristow believes the price drop in gold will ...

Admin
|Jun 13|magazine7 min read

While the price of gold continues to decline, one mining company isn’t worried. Randgold Resources’ CEO Mark Bristow believes the price drop in gold will only strengthen the industry and force companies to formulate new lessons from experiences.  

“Our industry has to reinvent itself,” Bristow said in a recent statement. “For 10 years, most companies have placed unrealistic expectations on their shareholders, governments and the countries where they exploit mineral deposits. They’ve acted as if the increase in gold prices was never going to stop.”

According to Bristow, companies who have failed to exercise caution in the past will have a difficult future. “Young companies who targeted small fields or waited too long to get their projects off the ground will go bankrupt. Now with gold, international markets hardly have any money to offer.”

Randgold Gold sold 910,000oz of gold in 2013, generating turnover of $1.3 billion and recording a profit of $326 million. Bristow believes by keeping production costs low, the company is resilient to weakening gold prices.

 "We have always maintained a great deal of pressure on costs, not exceeding $950 per ounce of gold produced, whether in West Africa or in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Even if prices drop to $1,000, we will still be profitable," Bristow said.

One of the ways the company has kept costs low is hiring and training local employees. According to the CEO, "There are virtually no expatriates in our mines, as we rely on local employees.”

Randgold’s director for West Africa, Mahamadou Samaké, believes Bristow’s style of business is unlike other mining companies’ and he appreciates it. "In my region, Bristow successfully trained and coached a team of qualified West African professionals. Unlike leaders of big Anglo-Saxon companies, he effectively delegated responsibilities to locals."

The company, which only has seven employees in a small office in  the Channel Islands, puts most of its money into ongoing projects. “We have built a solid base in West Africa and in the DRC. In spite of its name, Randgold is not a South African company, even if it is made up of South African executives and we sell our gold to a South African refinery.”

As the largest gold mining firm in Francophone Africa, Randgold Resources has no plans of slowing down production. The company plans to increase its gold production by more than 30 percent in 2014 with promising gold finds in Mali and the DRC.

“Randgold is in good financial standing, we will continue to invest in exploration. We will upgrade our mining portfolio in the next five years. To make this a reality, we have procured 12 licences in Côte d'Ivoire, and we are actively exploring the Ituri region in the DRC, as well southern Mali."