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Randgold Sees Mali Instability Persisting, Says Output Unharmed

May 3 (Bloomberg) -- Randgold Resources Ltd., the gold producer that mines two-thirds of its output in Mali, expects instability to persist in the West African country until elections in a year’s time.

“Elections can’t happen until there is some stability,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said today in an interview in London. “That’s probably a year out if not a little longer. Right now we’ve had no impact on our gold shipments or any key supplies.”

Mali returned to a civilian-led administration last month after three weeks of military rule following a coup on March 22 over the handling of a Touareg insurgency in the north. The country is expected to hold a presidential election in 12 months’ time, the Economic Community of West African States said April 26.

Shares in Randgold, which operates the Morila, Loulo and Gounkoto mines in Mali, slumped 22 percent in the two weeks following the coup. Dioncounda Traore, former president of the National Assembly, has since been sworn in as interim president as part of a deal that saw military leaders hand power back to civilians. The stock traded down 2.2 percent at 5,235 pence as of 8:51 a.m. in London.

Randgold’s first-quarter net income more than doubled to $89.4 million after output increased and prices gained, the Jersey, Channel Islands-based company said today in a statement. Randgold produced 165,443 ounces in the period, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Biesheuvel in London at tbiesheuvel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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