Randgold Resources Ld
13 November 2002
RANDGOLD RESOURCES LIMITED
For immediate release
For further information call:
(CEO) Mark Bristow +44 779 775 2288
(CFO) Roger Williams +44 779 771 9660
RECORD QUARTER AS PROFITS AND PRODUCTION SOAR
London, 13 November 2002 - Randgold Resources, the London and Nasdaq listed
mining and exploration company, today reported a 472% surge in net profit for
the September quarter and said it would use its growing cash resources to pursue
new growth opportunities.
With very high grades kicking in at Morila as expected, Randgold Resources'
share of the production from its 40% owned mine in Mali climbed by 185% to a
record level of 171 368 ounces for the quarter. By end-September, Morila had
already exceeded its production and earnings targets for the full year. Cash
operating cost for the quarter was US$28/oz and total cash cost was US$49/oz,
comfortably maintaining Morila's position as one of the highest-margin gold
producers in the world.
Boosted by Morila's strong performance, the company's net profit of US$30.5
million was up almost sixfold from the previous quarter, in spite of increased
exploration and other expenditure, while operating profit grew by 242% to
Randgold Resources' two feasibility-stage projects - Loulo in Mali and Tongon in
Cote d'Ivoire - were both advanced. A detailed review of the updated
feasibility study on Loulo has confirmed the projects potential to meet the
company's hurdle rates and identified the risk areas that require further
evaluation. The Tongon resource has been remodelled to refine the lay-out of the
next drilling programme, scheduled to start in November, but this has been put
on hold pending the resolution of the current conflict in Cote d'Ivoire.
'Both these projects appear to be commercially viable but we're under no
pressure to fast-track their development,' said chief executive Dr Mark Bristow.
'We have the luxury of time and we're going to use it fully to ensure that
before we commit ourselves to building a new mine, we're completely confident
that all the associated risks have been identified and evaluated as manageable.'
Exploration activities during the quarter focused on interpreting and
integrating the previous season's data, developing new geological models and
outlining programmes and budgets for the current field campaign.
On the corporate front, chairman Roger Kebble said the strategic objective of
improving the tradeability and liquidity of the company's stock was being
achieved through its recent Nasdaq listing, which had increased its shareholder
base and created an efficient American trading platform. The share price has
increased significantly since the July listing. He also noted that with equity
now standing at US$94.2 million, the Randgold Resources team had already
replaced the value returned to shareholders through a US$81.3 million share
buyback last year.
Looking ahead, Bristow said while the high grades at Morila were not likely to
be sustained at the past quarter's extremely high levels, they would continue to
have a significant positive impact on the company's results in the short to
medium term. He explained that further analysis of the orebody model indicated
the potential for continuity of the higher grade zone. In combination with an
undrawn revolving facility of US$20 million recently provided by a
Rothschild-led bank consortium, the strong income stream from Morila was
creating a substantial cash resource for the company.
'We're a return-driven business and we're actively pursuing further growth
opportunities, both organic and corporate. Thus far we've largely concentrated
on West Africa but we've now begun to widen our focus and we're currently
looking at the central and eastern regions of the continent as well as further
afield,' he said.
Issued on behalf of Randgold Resources Limited by du Plessis Associates. dPA
contact Kathy du Plessis on Tel: 27(11) 728 4701, mobile: (0)83 266 5847 or
Statements made in this release with respect to Randgold Resources' current
plans, estimates, strategies and beliefs and other statements that are not
historical facts are forward-looking statements about the future performance of
Randgold Resources. These statements are based on management's assumptions and
beliefs in light of the information currently available to it. Randgold
Resources cautions you that a number of important risks and uncertainties could
cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the
forward-looking statements, and therefore you should not place undue reliance on
them. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, risks
associated with: fluctuations in the market price of gold, gold production at
Morila, estimates of reserves and mine life and liabilities arising from the
closure of Syama. Randgold Resources assumes no obligation to update
information in this release.
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange