A 2.8% increase in the gold price, 18% increase in sales and 4% fall in total cash cost per ounce, helped Randgold deliver a 33% increase in first quarter profits versus the prior year.
Randgold shares rose 1.4% following the announcement.
First Quarter Results
First quarter gold production of 322,470 oz was up 10% on a year ago, although 15% below Q4's record output.
Lower ore grades at Gounkoto, Kibali and Tongon, and work stoppages at the large Loulo-Gounkoto and Tongon mines, meant that cash cost per ounce was $619, which although 4% below Q116 was 12.8% higher than in the immediately preceding quarter.
The average gold sales price in the quarter was $1,220/oz.
Randgold has seen good progress from both green and brown-field exploration teams during the quarter. There has been a particular increase in greenfield activity, with up to 18 rigs drilling in the company's portfolio of 134 targets across West Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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