South Africa's AngloGold Ashanti
Randgoldhas previously said it was interested in buying AngloGold's 40 percentinterest, but AngloGold said no proposals met the firm's valuecriteria.
On Feb. 4,Randgold Chief Executive Mark Bristow said the firm would hold talks withAngloGold, the world's third-biggest gold producer, about possibly buying theMorila stake.
Randgoldalso agreed to take over responsibility for operating the mine from AngloGold,which has been undergoing a strategic review of its assets under new CEO MarkCutifani.
Randgoldhas said any purchase of AngloGold's stake would depend on the price, butMorila was a mature mine with limited reserves left and not as important toRandgold as its new growth projects such as Tongon in Ivory Coast.
Randgolddiscovered Morila, but sold a 40 percent stake to AngloGold in 2000 to helpfinance development of the mine. Each holds a 40 percent stake, with the Mali government owning the remaining 20percent. (Reporting by Eric Onstad, editing by Will Waterman)
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