Randgold Resources said its Loulo-Gounkoto gold mining complex in Mali had stepped up production, with increased grades expected. File Image: IOL

INTERNATIONAL - Randgold Resources said on Tuesday its Loulo-Gounkoto gold mining complex in Mali had stepped up production, with increased grades expected in the third and fourth quarter of the year.

Mali is the third biggest producer of gold after South Africa and Ghana, with gold mines operated by multinational companies including Randgold Resources, Anglogold Ashanti , B2Gold and Resolute Mining.

Randgold also said it had entered into discussions on a potential joint venture with the government of Mali to explore a regional area of interest to develop a detailed geological dataset. 

In May this year, Randgold said it was confident that talks with the Democratic Republic of Congo will lead to a compromise on the country’s new mining rules, which risk hurting producers’ profits. 

Miners, including Glencore and Randgold, have asked the government to dial back aspects of the legislation approved by President Joseph Kabila in March. They argue that the new code will drive investors away from the DRC - the world’s top cobalt producer and a key source of copper - as it breaches titleholders' rights, increases metal royalty payments and introduces new taxes. 

“On the critical issues, we were given assurances by the president. There’s no reason to believe he won’t be good to his word,” chief executive Mark Bristow said in an interview in London. 

BLOOMBERG/REUTERS