LONDON -- Randgold Resources (LSE: RRS.L ) (Nasdaq: GOLD ) currently holds the title of the FTSE All-Share's best-performing stock of the last 10 years. Its share price has risen almost 30-fold, having increased by an average 40% a year. Today's half-year results gave a hint as to how that stellar performance had been achieved.
Earlier this year, Randgold's share price fell heavily after a coup in Mali, where many of its operations are based. Those troubles appear to be behind it now, as the gold miner was able to post a 41% increase in profits to $246 million. The group's London-traded shares responded with a rise of nearly 3% to 6,355 pence this morning, which supports a 5.8 billion pound market cap.
There was a record performance from Randgold's flagship Loulo-Gounkoto complex, which accounts for around 60% of the company's total production. Overall, the number of ounces produced increased by 16% to 376,000 ounces.
Chief Executive Mark Bristow said: "Randgold has also continued to advance the development of the giant Kibali gold project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Construction of the processing plant and the first hydropower station, as well as open-pit mining and underground development, are now under way and on track for first production towards the end of next year."
Along with further improvements at Loulo-Gounkoto, Kibali is vital to the company's growth plan of more or less doubling production levels from 2011 to 2016.
Bristow added: "While we have a very full operational and developmental load at present, our focus still remains fixed on the future. ... The exploration teams continue to feed new prospects into our project pipeline and ... we are also looking at the opportunities that are being created by the current dynamics of the gold-mining industry, particularly in the junior sector."
This could be good news for many private investors in the mining sector. With cash balances of more than $450 million, Randgold certainly has the firepower to sweep up some of the sector's smaller occupants, many of whom have seen their share prices really struggle during the last year or so.
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