Randgold Resources Chief Executive Mark Bristow said on Thursday that the company will begin paying dividends from its Tongon mine in Ivory Coast in the third quarter of 2015 as it targets gold production of 260 000 ounces for the year.

Production
The mine missed its 2014 production target of 250,000 ounces by 10% due to technical problems. Output is expected to reach 280,000 ounces in 2016 before attaining full output of 300,000 ounces the following year Bristow said during a visit to the mine.

Randgold owns 89% of Tongon while the Ivorian government has a 10% stake and a local company has a 1% share. The company is one of the main gold miners in Ivory Coast.

Tongon began production in late 2010 and output is set to rise over the next few years. The government forecast total gold production of 17 tonnes in 2014.

“Tongon is a profitable mine. Beginning in the third quarter of this year we will be able to pay out dividends to shareholders,” Bristow said to journalists.

Tongon consists of two open pit mines which are projected to produce gold for seven years. However, exploration is continuing aimed at adding to current reserves and extending the life of the mine. Bristow said Randgold had budgeted $6m to continue exploration work in 2015.