Engineering & Mining Journal

MAY 2017

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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REGIONAL NEWS - AFRICA 22 E&MJ • MAY 2017 IT MEANS: We'll help you understand if your screen is performing at top efficiency with a comprehensive Screen Performance Evaluation. We'll provide a screen media solution that's the right fit for your needs with our guarantee that it will be more cost-effective than your existing screen media and provide equal or better efficiency. Our entire company will work to support you. From Applications and Sales to Injection Molding to Inventory and Shipping, customers are the top priority. You'll get your order when you need it, with the best lead times in the industry. SO, ISN'T IT TIME YOU SWITCHED TO POLYDECK? Call us at 1-864-579-4594 or visit to find the Polydeck Regional Manager in your area. empowerment structure that has a 26% stake in the project and a consortium of Japanese companies that holds the re- maining 10%. Bristow: Gold is Heading for a Supply Cliff Gold production is heading for a 'supply cliff' because of a chronic lack of explo- ration, says Randgold CEO Mark Bristow. He told E&MJ that the search for fresh deposits had fallen to almost nothing. "There has been a complete lack of in- vestment in exploration and we are head- ed for a supply cliff. If any new demand over what is currently experienced were to occur, it will drive the price," he said. Bristow is arguably one of the most successful gold bosses right now. He has turned London based but Africa-focused Randgold into a $7 billion company, and is the only gold producer in the Ftse 100 index. Randgold has built, financed and operates five gold mines in Africa — Lou- lo, Gounkoto and Morila in Mal; Tongon in Côte d'Ivoire and Kibali in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The company also has a major project at Massawa in Senegal and a portfolio of exploration projects in the most prospective gold belts of West and Central Africa. In March the company said would in- crease its annual dividend by more than 50% to $1.00 per share after the com- pany reached its $500 million cash target. A bump in gold demand is not un- precedented. The beginning of the com- modity supercycle in the early 2000s was driven by Chinese demand for minerals, including gold. Bullion began a run from the low $300/oz mark until it briefly peaked above $1,800/oz in 2011. In the time since it has fallen perilously close to the psychologically important $1,000/ oz mark but appears on a sustainable re- covery says Bristow. Global events such as Brexit, the elec- tion of Trump and a shift in the political landscape across Europe have shaken the established order. Gold has always thrived in such circumstances as investors flee to the security of hard assets. "Everywhere the silent majority have made their stamp on politics," Bristow said. Bristow also pointed to the recent- ly introduced Shariah standard for gold investment. To date, Islamic investment funds were prohibited from buying gold because of a Koranic injunction against hoarding it. Earlier this year though the World Gold Council together with Islamic financiers came up with a way to allow investment. This paves the way for Islam- ic finance to move into exchange traded funds and physical gold. "Gold is already a staple of everyday life in the Middle East and Muslim Africa, where it is used for trade," Bristow said. "Now it can be used for investment and this has the potential for huge demand." According to the World Gold Council as much as $2.4 trillion could flow into bul- lion in the next few years. How producers are going to respond to changes such as these would very much depend on their exploration portfolios. Unfortunately, many companies aban- doned searching as they scrambled to sur- vive the rapid decline of the gold price. Industry-wide net debt had grown from $1 billion in the early part of this century

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