Randgold Resources is looking to develop a third underground mine at its Loulo-Gounkoto gold mining complex in Mali.

A feasibility study for the proposed project at Gounkoto has been completed and the results are expected to be announced later this month.

Randgold Resources CEO Mark Bristow said: "Regardless of the potential Gounkoto underground mine, subject to the gold price remaining at current levels, the complex is forecast to up its profitability from its existing mining activities through increased production and reduced unit costs on the back of higher grades, improved recoveries and the benefits of its ongoing capital projects.

"We believe the Senegal-Mali shear zone, which hosts Loulo-Gounkoto, is one of the most prolific gold regions in Africa, with the capacity to rival Ghana’s Obuasi, and we are continuing our hunt for more multi-million ounce gold deposits there."

The company intends to boost gold production from its Yalea and Gara underground mines and the Gounkoto open pit mine as well as expand its footprint elsewhere in the region.

The underground operations are expected to provide around 60% of the ore feed to its mills.

Finalisation of the refrigeration and next phase of ventilation plans and upgrading the power distribution system and the elution and regeneration plants will be carried out at Loulo-Gounkoto complex this year.