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:: Ball Mills in Place as Randgold Resources’ New Mine Reaches Commissioning Phase
London and Nasdaq listed gold miner Randgold Resources has announced that construction at its new Loulo mine in Mali had entered its final phase with the completion of the positioning of the two ball mills.
"The mills are the main items of equipment in the gold processing plant. Now that they have been safely positioned on their bearing pedestals, we have entered the final construction lap before commissioning and gold production, scheduled to start next quarter," said general manager capital projects John Steele.
"From this point, we have to connect up the conveyor belts, piping and electrical cable which links the crushers, mills and tanks in order to complete the circuit. This is the busiest period of our construction programme and our peak in terms of site manpower too," he said.
The new plus 8 million ounce Loulo Gold Mine, is Randgold Resources’ second mine development after Morila, also in Mali. The first phase of the project will have an annual production of 200 000 to 220 000 gold ounces through open-pit mining but the potential exists to extend the mine through long-term underground operations. Deep drilling programmes are in progress to further define the extent of the orebodies and form part of an underground development study currently being completed by SRK consulting.
Jaco Vosloo, Loulo project manager for main contractors MDM said the Loulo project had presented some logistical challenges thus far, in particular the transport of the mills from South Africa to Dakar and from there to site in Mali. "We are pleased that we have been able to overcome all challenges and are confident that we will continue to deliver in a professional manner. Loulo has been an exciting project to work on and we look forward to its successful completion in the next few months."
Lamine Gueye, managing director of Compagnie Senegalaise de Transports Transatlantiques Afrique de l’Ouest (CSTTAO) which organised the transport of the ball mills from Dakar to the site in Mali, said that the successful delivery of the mills could only have been accomplished through teamwork. "We had to work together in unpredictable and difficult conditions in order to get these mills on site and on time," he said.
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