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Mali approves Randgold's mining replacement program for Morila gold mine

Randgold Resources Ltd. said Oct. 8 that it secured approval from the Malian government for an agribusiness project designed to replace mining at the Morila gold mine when it closes in two years.

Morila is a joint venture between Randgold Resources, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. and the Republic of Mali.

"Converting Morila's infrastructure into a base for an agri-industrial zone will not only develop an alternative economy in this region but will also create a center of excellence for agriculture in Mali," Randgold CEO Mark Bristow said.

"This is a very complex project which has already brought together entrepreneurial experts in agriculture and will continue to do so," he said.

The parties have agreed to establish a nongovernmental organization to be the main vehicle for the enterprise.