* Will boost gold production to 450,000 ounces by 2012
* CEO says new ore body needed for company to grow
* Company to refocus on exploration
* Sees future development in Mali, Ivory Coast
By Julie Gordon
TORONTO, March 6 Resolute Mining (RSG.AX) will
boost production by 150,000 ounces over the next two years and
shift its focus to exploration as it looks to secure a new ore
deposit to replace gold ounces now coming online, said the CEO
of Australia's No.2 gold producer.
"We've essentially developed pretty much the resource base
that we have already," said Resolute Chief Executive Peter
Sullivan in an interview with Reuters ahead of the PDAC
prospectors and developers conference in Toronto.
"So from now on, the next growth of the company is going to
come from another ore body somewhere else."
The company has current reserves and resources of 10.4
million gold ounces in Australia and Africa.
Resolute's cornerstone asset is the Syama project, located
in Mali, and the company will remain focused on exploring West
Africa for new projects, said Sullivan.
A feasibility study to expand Syama to include a new, 3
million ounce pit, and a second study that could extend the
mine's life are both due to be completed this year.
"We have a serious operation there for a least a decade,
and probably longer," said Sullivan, referring to Mali. "It's
always easy to look for opportunities where you have a pretty
He said the company will spend A$12 million ($12.2 million)
on exploration in 2011, including a greenfield exploration plan
in Ivory Coast.
"Generally in Africa, because you're going over this ground
the first time -- you do have a better chance perhaps of
finding ore bodies," said Sullivan, adding that there are risks
when dealing with less stable governments.
Resolute's operations in Ivory Coast have been shut down
since violence erupted there over a disputed election in
Still, with gold prices hitting record highs on fears that
Libya's escalating unrest could spread across the Arab world,
the risks are worth it, said Sullivan.
"You start reviewing the countries that you are looking
at," said Sullivan. "It's a bit of a judgment as to whether you
do go to a country that you feel may be actually changing from
a regime that may not have been so popular to one that is going
to be popular."
Sullivan said he sees the northwest African nation of
Mauritania, home to the Tasiast project that Kinross Gold
(K.TO) acquired through its $7.1 billion bid for Red Back
Mining, as the next big place for gold mining in Africa.
Like Kinross, Resolute is always eyeing opportunities to
pick up a good project, or junior mining company, to help bulk
out its production profile.
But Sullivan noted that high gold prices, combined with an
increasingly investor friendly climate in West Africa, finding
those gems is getting more difficult.
"It is now the game of finding the new projects," said
Sullivan. "It's quite a competitive scene at the moment,
particularly in West Africa."
(Editing by Frank McGurty)