Randgold Resources pulls out of Ghana gold mine project


By Jon Yeomans
The Telegraph, London
Monday, December 21, 2015

Randgold Resources has abandoned plans to redevelop a gold mine in Ghana, just three months after announcing its interest in the "world-class resource."

The FTSE 100-listed miner, which operates in central and West Africa, has scrapped a potential joint venture with South African firm AngloGold Ashanti to reopen and expand the Obuasi mine, which has some 5 million ounces of gold reserves below ground, after it failed to pass due diligence.

"We spent more time on it than most people would do on a normal merger and acquisition. But it got to the point where whichever way we cut the cake, we couldn't get it to pass our criteria," said Mark Bristow, Randgold's chief executive. "Anglo has never made any money out of this asset, ever," he added.

In September, gold mining specialist Randgold said it would fund and lead a plan to modernise the loss-making mine, which was shut down by AngloGold in 2014, with a view to forming a joint venture to manage its output.

AngloGold said it would now continue to operate the mine -- which dates to 1907 -- on a limited basis. "In the current environment, we believe it is prudent to conserve our resources and to revisit this opportunity when market conditions improve," said Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, chief executive. ...

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