LONDON Dec 27 Miner Randgold Resources Plc
has cut the production forecast for its troubled Ivory
Coast gold mine after a fire over Christmas at the project's
Randgold said it now expected to produce around 208,000
ounces in 2012 from the Tongon mine, down from an expected
270,000 ounces at the beginning of the year.
Africa-focused Randgold said the fire started on Dec. 24
during a planned shutdown for repairs.
The fire had now been extinguished and there had been no
injuries, but a number of parts at the mill had been damaged,
the company said in a statement on Thursday.
The mine expected to have the milling circuits operational
within 10 days and fully operational up to a month after
receiving replacement parts, it said.
Tongon has struggled with power outages and shortages since
operations began in 2010, as well as labour unrest. Reduced
estimates for Tongon had already led Randgold to guide group
2012 output to the lower end of the 825,000-865,000 ounces range
last month, hurting the company's shares.
Prospects for Tongon have also been dimmed by Ivory Coast's
parliament, which approved a new tax on gold profits in
December, angering mining firms operating in the West African
However, Randgold also said on Thursday that its flagship
Loulo mine in Mali was on track to reach full-year output of
500,000 ounces and its Morila project, also in Mali, would
exceed the guided 200,000 ounces for 2012.
The company's shares rose 1 percent in thin trade at the
open on Thursday. The stock has fallen over 20 percent since the
beginning of October.