Ivory Coast’s government must work assiduously with the mining industry in a dedicated, long-term partnership to develop the burgeoning industry, Chief Executive Officer of Randgold Resources, Mark Bristow has said.
In a press statement issued on Sunday, the company noted that the country was highly prospective and had one of Africa’s most investor-friendly mining environment, as well as relatively modern infrastructure.
According to Mr. Bristow, mining was already making a big contribution to the country’s economy, adding: “to date, Randgold’s Tongon mine has paid almost $1-billion to the State and to local suppliers and contractors – but for the industry’s full value-creating potential to be realised it should be integrated into the government’s overall economic and infrastructural planning.”
“More investment by the mining sector is needed, as well as by government. It’s particularly important to encourage exploration and to maintain a fiscal and operational environment capable of attracting international capital providers and mine developers,” he added.
Bristow said Tongon was on track to achieve its 2017 production target of 285 000 oz of gold at a total cash cost of less than $700/oz.
Among the challenges the government must fight, include power supply from the national grid remained, which continues to be a bane with the gap between its reliability and cost growing.
He also noted that Tongon had invested $28-million to help fund the expansion of the country’s power grid but had not yet received indication of when and how the State-owned electricity company would reimburse Tongon for its investment.
“We have already invested approximately $100-million in exploration since 1995 and are planning to continue to invest in this country. Our exploration programmes are designed not only to lengthen Tongon’s life but also to find new mines in our portfolio,” he added.