Randgold Resources Limited (LON:RRS) financial results for the first quarter boasted the success of its Kabali mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which following full commissioning delivered a 22% rise in production.
The DRC mine is expecting to hit its target of 730,000 ounces for 2018.
London’s largest gold miner’s production, meanwhile, was negatively impacted in the quarter by work stoppages at the Tongon in Côte d'Ivoire and lower underground grades at the flagship Loulo-Gounkoto operations.
Randgold produced a total of 286,890 ounces of gold in the three month period, versus 340,958 ounces in the preceding quarter. First quarter cash cost per ounce increased to US$720, up from US$627 in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Accordingly, the miner reported a reduced quarterly profit at US$66.5mln down from US$87.1mln in the fourth quarter.
Mark Bristow, Randgold chief executive, highlighted that a “slower start to the year” was anticipated following a strong prior quarter and record performance in 2017.
He told investors that Randgold is confident of hitting its annual production target of 1.3mln to 1.35mln ounces, despite the challenges experienced in the first quarter.
"It was a very active quarter, in which we ramped up the underground production at Kibali, advanced the Gounkoto super pit project and the development of the Baboto satellite pit at Loulo, and prepared the Ntiola satellite deposit at Morila for mining," Bristow said.
"At the same time we also successfully handled the difficult labour situation at Tongon, sorted out the sequencing at Loulo and continued negotiations relating to the new mining code with the DRC government.
He added: “This demonstrates the depth and competence of our management team, and its ability to deal with complex operational and socio-political issues on multiple fronts."