Turnaround In Progress

Mali: Resolute Mining CEO aims to prove Mark Bristow wrong at Syama gold project

By David Whitehouse

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Posted on August 8, 2022 08:50

CEO of Randgold Mark Bristow poses for a photograph at the London Stock Exchange, London
Mark Bristow decided against gold mining at Syama in Mali. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

As CEO of Randgold Resources in the 1990s, Mark Bristow decided against trying to mine the gold resource at Syama in Mali, believing that the project was technically too difficult.

Resolute Mining CEO Terry Holohan believes he is close to proving Bristow wrong.

“We thought we could crack the metallurgy,” says Holohan, who took over as CEO in May. “We’ve now ticked the box.” He’s looking forward to seeing Bristow, now CEO of Barrick Gold, and updating him on the project’s progress. “That conversation will happen.”

The Syama gold mine is in the south of Mali, 300km southeast of the capital Bamako and about 32km from the border with Côte d’Ivoire. The mine has a life of about 35 years at current production rates, Holohan says. Profitability remains a challenge. Resolute had a net loss of $367.5m in 2021, versus a profit of $5m a year earlier, as it was hurt by an extended wet season and unplanned maintenance issues at Syama.

The company has also struggled with its balance sheet. Net debt stood at $229m at the end of 2021. The company in March deferred up to $100m in

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