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Cote d'Ivoire's political friction reduces Randgold's Q4 gold output - Mineweb

West-African focused gold producer Randgold Resources said fourth-quarter production will be negatively hit by the impact of the political tension in Ivory Coast on its Tongon mine and a below-target contribution from its Loulo project in Mali.

Tongon now plans to produce about 35,000 ounces for the year, with gold sales expected to differ from production, while Loulo is anticipated to produce about 80,000 to 85,000 gold ounces in the fourth quarter.

"We knew that 2010 was going to be a challenging year and the fourth quarter is turning out to be even tougher than anticipated," said Chief Executive Mark Bristow.

At least 173 people have been killed in Ivory Coast in recent days following last month's disputed election, the United Nations said on Thursday.

Bristow said Tongon was continuing to operate but that completion of the second stream had been delayed as some key components could not be delivered. Security at and around the mine has not been affected but Tongon's main supply route from the country's capital had been impeded, he said.

In November, the FTSE-100 gold miner said it expected output to surge more than 75 percent in the fourth quarter from 101,468 ounces in the third quarter led by significantly higher gold grades from its Loulo mine and the recent start of production from Tongon.

The Loulo production guidance was revised on power interruptions earlier in the year and the fact that higher grade ore in Loulo 3 and Gara had only been achieved in December rather than mid November. Randgold owns 80 percent of Loulo with the government of Mali owning the remaining 20 percent.

Shares in Randgold had closed at 5,500 pence on Thursday, ahead of the announcement, valuing the company at 5.0 billion pounds ($7.7 billion).

(Reporting by Julie Crust; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)


Available: http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page34?oid=117456&am...

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