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July 28, 2014
05:40 EDTGOLDRandgold Tongon mine production ramp up impacted by technical issues
Randgold Resources' Tongon gold mine in Cote d'Ivoire is continuing to make headway in its drive to overcome the technical issues that have impacted its performance, CEO Mark Bristow said. Updating local media on progress at the mine, Bristow said this year's planned ramp-up in production had not been achieved due to the need to expand the flotation circuit and the mechanical failure of the recently installed Vibrocone crushers, intended to improve the recovery and throughput rate. Expansion of the flotation circuit was now underway and the crusher supplier, Sandvik, had agreed to replace the Vibrocone crushers with conventional cone crushers and combine them with an upgraded flowsheet, including additional equipment and circuits. He noted that the first two new crushers were already on site, along with most of the other equipment, and the Sandvik team was working hard in support of the mine team to ensure that the project would be completed early in Q4. Bristow said this exercise should increase mill throughput to its design capacity and improve the quality of the crushed product. Tongon's performance was therefore expected to show a steady improvement in the second half of the year. However, because of the ground that had already been lost and the inevitable operational impact associated with the commissioning of new equipment, completion of the flotation expansion was only expected by year end and Tongon's 2014 production was likely to fall within 10% short of its original guidance of 260,000 ounces. "Considering the challenges Tongon has had to deal with, this is a creditable performance and a tribute to the team and the ongoing support from Sandvik," he said. In the meantime, Randgold's exploration team is continuing its work to extend Tongon's life by drilling below the Southern and Northern Zone pits and evaluating adjacent satellite deposits. Four targets close to the mine have already been identified.
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