New mining code will give Mali more ownership of gold concessions
A new mining code that will allow Mali’s military led government to increase it’s ownership of gold concessions was signed into law by interim President Assimi Goita.
Reuters reported that the new code, signed on state television, will allow the state and local investors to take stakes as high as 35 percent in mining projects compared with 20 percent now, and could more than double the sector's contribution to gross domestic product to around 20 percent, the government has said.
It was not immediately clear if the code would affect existing projects. A mining ministry official said that this would depend on the implementing decrees, which have not yet been made available.
Mali is one of Africa's top gold producers and is home to mining companies including Barrick Gold, B2GOLD, Resolute Mining and Hummingbird Resources.
Mali's Finance Minister Alousseni Sanou said that an audit of the mining sector had shown that the state was missing 300 billion to 600 billion CFA francs ($497 million to $995 million) which it intended to recover.
Mining Minister Amadou Keita said that some state losses have been caused by mining companies taking their gold ore to a different, tax-exempt mine to be processed, and that the new code would crack down on this.
He also said that greater attention would be paid to the issuance of mining titles.
"From now on, for the sake of transparency and inclusiveness, mining titles will be signed by several ministers (finance, mining, environment, etc.)," he said on state TV.
Goita overthrew two presidents in 2020 and 2021 in coups driven by frustration at the handling of an Islamist insurgency, which has only worsened since his military government took power. He has said he will organise elections and restore power to civilians in 2024.