VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – LSE- and Nasdaq-listed Randgold Resources on Wednesday said it should be able to make a development decision on the Massawa project, in Senegal, by mid-2018.
The London-based miner plans to complete a feasibility study on the multimillion-ounce orebody by the middle of next year.
“As things stand today, Massawa has a mineable reserve of 2.6-million ounces and the project has an internal rate of return (IRR) of 18% at a gold price of $1 000/oz, which is a little short of our investment criteria of a three-million-ounce reserve [grading 4.3 g/t] and a 20% IRR. The detailed drilling required for the feasibility study, as well as our continuing exploration of extensions to and satellites around the known orebodies should get the project across the line,” CEO Mark Bristow said in a statement.
Massawa stands to become Randgold’s sixth mine development and the first in Senegal. It will also be the first of three new projects Randgold plans to deliver over the next five years, Bristow stated.
Randgold has, to date, invested about $85-million on evaluating its Senegal portfolio. The Massawa resource base got a significant boost last year when Randgold announced the discovery of the Sofia deposit.
Randgold is one of the few miners not to have slashed its exploration budget during the five-year bear market, bolstered by its strict development criteria and its insistence on using a base price of $1 000/oz for project planning.