Johannesburg‚ Dec 27 (I-Net Bridge) - Production at Randgold Resources' Tongon gold mine in Côte d'Ivoire has been impacted by a fire in the mill section‚ the company said on Wednesday.

The fire started on 24 December during a planned shutdown for repairs to the No 1 mill cyclone feed pipe. The fire then spread upwards into the No 1 cyclone cluster and moved to the No 2 cyclone cluster.

The fire has been fully extinguished and no injuries have been reported but both cyclone clusters‚ flotation cells and blowers along with associated infrastructure for both milling circuits suffered damage.

Chief executive Mark Bristow said the full extent of the damage was still being assessed but the mills themselves have been unaffected and that the mine had already started to make short term repairs including temporary relining of the various pieces of equipment whilst sourcing replacement parts.

Tongon aims to have both milling circuits operational again within ten days. Both mill classification circuits are expected to be fully operational within three to four weeks following receipt of the spare parts which are currently being sourced for air-freighting to the mine. The flash flotation circuit repairs are dependent on the lead time for the replacement blowers‚ which are expected to be evident within the week.

Bristow said that while Randgold's flagship Loulo complex was on track to achieve its full year guidance of 500 000 ounces and Morila would comfortably exceed its guidance at 200 000 ounces‚ the fire would further impact on a difficult year for Tongon and that the revised annual production for that operation was now expected to be approximately 208 000 ounces.

He said a full update would be given when Randgold reports its Q4 results on 4 February 2013.