Powered by increased production at all its operating complexes, Randgold Resources' profit soared by 259% to $433.4m for 2011. Profit for the fourth quarter of $136.2m was up 323% on the corresponding quarter in 2010.
The board has proposed a $0.40 annual dividend, up 100% on 2010 on the back of the substantial increase in earnings.
Production for the year rose by 58% to 696 023 ounces, reflecting increased contributions from the Loulo complex in Mali (which includes the new Gounkoto mine), Tongon in Côte d'Ivoire and the Morila joint venture, also in Mali. Morila, now a dump treatment operation, passed the 6 million ounce total production mark during the fourth quarter. Group cash operating costs for the year of US$641 per ounce were in line with those of the previous year.
CEO, Mark Bristow, said the record results represented a significant achievement, particularly when seen against the background of the major developmental projects and issues the company had to handle during the year. These included the expansion programmes at Loulo and Tongon, the commissioning of Gounkoto and the rapid advance of the giant Kibali project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"Randgold's long-term strategy of building sustainably profitable gold mining businesses through discovery and development continues to pay off," he said. "In 2011 we benefited from our investment in growth in previous years, just as the development work we are doing now will reward our stakeholders in years to come."
Bristow said the company was forecasting production growth in each of the next five years, with group production for 2012 estimated to be 825 000 to 865 000 ounces - a 19% increase over 2011 at the lower end of the range. This growth is projected to be driven by better throughput and grade at the Loulo/Gounkoto complex. Management is targeting total cash costs per ounce, after royalties, of under $650/oz for 2012, while costs are forecast to reduce to between $500/oz and $550/oz over the next five years.
Total capital expenditure for 2012 will remain high at approximately $660m, which will be invested in the anticipated start-up of construction at Kibali, the programmes to unlock more capacity at Loulo and Tongon and in exploration across the group. Despite 2011's substantial investment in capital projects, cash in hand increased by 33% to $487.6m year on year.
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