Randgold Resources Limited: Kibali Shows Mining Can Help Make a Better Africa

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM—(Marketwired – Jun 5, 2016) – Randgold Resources Limited (LSE: RRS) (NASDAQ: GOLD)

Incorporated in Jersey, Channel Islands
Reg. No. 62686
LSE Trading Symbol: RRS
NASDAQ Trading Symbol: GOLD


Kibali Gold mine, Democratic Republic of Congo, 5 June 2016 The successful development of the giant Kibali gold mine in the northeast province of the DRC has demonstrated the capacity of mining to boost the economies of African countries and improve the lives of their people, says Randgold Resources chief executive Mark Bristow.

Bristow was speaking to local media on a facility visit to the mine shortly after arriving there with his BoyzonBikes fundraising motorbike ride. Titled Safari Kwa Bora Afrika — Swahili for Journey for a Better Africa — the more than 8 000 kilometre charity ride is crossing the continent from the east coast of Kenya to the west coast of the DRC through dense equatorial jungle. The fourth of its kind Bristow has undertaken, it aims to raise $3 million for the independent charitable foundation Nos Vies en Partage which Randgold established in 2014. The foundation plans to donate this to programmes which support neglected children and abused women across Africa, with this year's focus being the widows and orphans of past conflicts and the rehabilitation of child soldiers.

With a resource base of 20 million ounces of gold and reserves of 11 million ounces, the Kibali mine ranks as one of the largest gold mining projects in the world. While it will only be completely developed by 2018, when its underground operation comes into full production, it is already producing more than 600 000 ounces of gold annually and employs more than 4 000 people, almost all Congolese nationals.

Bristow said Kibali represents an investment of $1.8 billion to date of which some $1 billion has already been spent with Congolese contractors and suppliers, many of whom have established local operations leading to the creation of a new economic frontier in this remote region of the country.

“Kibali has brought new life and opportunity to this province, resettling more than 20 000 people from very basic villages in a model town with comprehensive amenities, including provision for healthcare and education, building an effective infrastructure and attracting the providers of the goods and services required by a developing society,” he said. “That so much has been achieved in such a short time is a tribute to the cooperation Randgold has received from our DRC business partners, central and local government as well as the community. And we should not forget the vital role played by the international investors who were prepared to risk their capital on this venture.”

“There have been stresses and strains along the way but, by working together towards a common goal, Randgold and Kibali's stakeholders have been able to overcome these. It is in this same spirit of partnership that Randgold is now working with the authorities and the community to unlock the potential of the northeast province's great mineral and agricultural resources. A number of projects are already in an advanced planning stage,” he said. “The palm oil project, initiated by Kibali, progressed this week when the government issued an arrêté granting the project full exoneration from duties on all capital items needed in the milling and refining operations as well as the plantation establishment. A further two arrêtés, regulating all fiscal and land matters, are expected shortly to complete the agreement with the government regarding the project's investment framework.”

In a related move, it has launched a 'good citizen' initiative, in which Kibali is working closely with local stakeholders, security forces and civil society, to establish a structure for peaceful conflict resolution and the maintenance of public assets and infrastructure.

The company is also making a significant investment in the development of the country's human capital by training Congolese as professional managers in line with its policy that all its operations should be run by local nationals.

“We're not just creating jobs, we're creating careers, and for generations to come Kibali will be managed by Congolese citizens with world–class skills,” he said.

Detailed information on Kibali is available at www.randgoldresources.com and the progress of Safari Kwa Bora Afrika can be followed on www.boyzonbikes.com.

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD–LOOKING STATEMENTS: Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this news release are forward–looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the US Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward–looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the future price of gold, the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, the realisation of mineral reserve estimates, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, reserve determination and reserve conversion rates. Generally, these forward–looking statements can be identified by the use of forward–looking terminology such as 'will', 'plans', 'expects' or 'does not expect', 'is expected', 'budget', 'scheduled', 'estimates', 'forecasts', 'intends', 'anticipates' or 'does not anticipate', or 'believes', or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results 'may', 'could', 'would', 'might' or 'will be taken', 'occur' or 'be achieved'. Assumptions upon which such forward–looking statements are based are in turn based on factors and events that are not within the control of Randgold Resources Limited ('Randgold') and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct. Forward–looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Randgold to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward–looking statements, including but not limited to: risks related to mining operations, including political risks and instability and risks related to international operations, actual results of current exploration activities, conclusions of economic evaluations, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, as well as those factors discussed in Randgold's filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (the 'SEC'). Although Randgold has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward–looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward–looking statements. Randgold does not undertake to update any forward–looking statements herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. CAUTIONARY NOTE TO US INVESTORS: The SEC permits companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only proven and probable ore reserves. We use certain terms in this report, such as 'resources', that the SEC does not recognise and strictly prohibits us from including in our filings with the SEC. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any parts of our resources will ever be converted into reserves which qualify as 'proven and probable reserves' for the purposes of the SEC's Industry Guide number 7.

Stepping Up the Fight to End Cholera and Chikungunya Outbreaks in Mandera County, Kenya

"An MSF assisted cholera treatment center in Mandera, Kenya". June 03, 2016  - Photo credit : @unfpaken

“An MSF assisted cholera treatment center in Mandera, Kenya”. June 03, 2016 – Photo credit : @unfpaken

By Siddharth Chatterjee
Mandera County, Kenya, Jun 5 2016 (IPS)

Mandera’s double whammy, the concurrent outbreaks of cholera and chikungunya, is bringing to the fore the need for accelerated epidemic preparedness and prevention systems.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated.

Chikungunya virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. These are the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue, yellow fever and zika virus. Its symptoms include high fever, joint pain, rash and headache. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus infection.

The twin epidemics have hit the expansive north-eastern county in Kenya, with half the population coming down with chikungunya virus infection. Since April, almost 1,103 cases of cholera has been reported in Mandera including 16 deaths, 3 being children.

For about 17 months, several areas in Kenya have reported cholera outbreaks, but the outbreaks in Mandera present special challenges in a region where one health worker serves about 2,000 people and half the population has no access to clean water.

Almost 80 per cent of the Mandera residents are down with the outbreak – which has adversely affected health care workers and the livelihoods of many vulnerable urban poor, especially women and children.

Even the Mandera county Governor Ali Roba became a victim of chikungunya and spoke of the “excruciating and intolerable pain in his joints” for nearly a week.

The current cholera outbreak, in Mandera has been worsened by the immobilized health work force due to chikungunya outbreak and hence slowing response efforts from the local capacities.

While chikungunya infection is often self-limiting and rarely fatal, the cholera outbreak is the more worrying, given the limited access to clean water and health facilities and a poor communication infrastructure that complicates efforts for tracing, diagnosis and isolation of cases.

There is a realistic fear that the outbreaks could spread to other regions, for instance in the coastal region if urgent action is not taken now. That would portend ill especially for the country’s tourism sector that has just recently began recovering from a debilitating slump.

With half of Mandera’s health workforce working at less than ideal capacity due to chikungunya infection, it is time for more hands to quickly be put on deck. The Mandera Referral Hospital is already overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of patients turning up with cholera and chikungunya symptoms.

Though the Kenya Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Switzerland have stepped up to bolster the county’s health facilities to deal with the cholera outbreak, and support the Ministry of Health with response measures, gaps abound.

County health authorities are appealing for more health personnel, supplies such asintravenous fluids, antibiotics and water treatment chemicals. Public education efforts are also being cranked up.

The array of needs was clear today, June 03, 2016 as a team composed of UNICEF, WHO, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the United Nations Population Fund, AMREF, Kenya Red Cross, MSF, government officials and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) led by the Cabinet Secretary for Health Dr. Cleopa Mailu visited Mandera East sub-county, the epicentre of the twin outbreaks.

As per reports the chikungunya virus was imported by infected travellers from Somalia. The team conducted a quick assessment to identify current response inputs and gaps, but more importantly to establish cross-border coordination links with partner agencies in the neighbouring countries of Somalia and Ethiopia.

While the prevailing circumstances call for emergency measures, the lesson must be that disease agents with pint-size virility like chikungunya can wreak havoc on an unprepared health system.

Health system strengthening approaches such as well-functioning surveillance and response systems will reduce the reliance on emergency measures. Dr Mailu said today, “the twin outbreak of cholera and chikungunya poses a real threat to public health not just in Mandera and the neighbouring counties but to all of Kenya. I am determined to make our health systems resilient and versatile to prevent disease outbreaks.”

Building the capacity of health staff and use of community-driven prevention measures will prepare the local systems for quick response before external support is mobilised. Public-private partnerships and cross-border collaboration will neuter the viruses before they can spark multiple new chains of transmission.

Stopping outbreaks quickly at source must be the target for health systems. This means such systems must be equipped to detect early signs of unusual disease patterns, they must have quick-response teams to track and investigate cases, and there must be laboratory services to help diagnose and confirm outbreaks promptly.

A public-private initiative where the Government of Kenya, county governments, UN agencies a number of private organizations have coalesced around improving maternal and child health, is already making encouraging progress in six high-burden counties in Kenya.

This inclusiveness must be the new paradigm in health systems development. The response to this twin outbreak in Mandera should lay the foundation for building a robust health system capable of preventing future outbreaks and build back better.