Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said the landlocked West African country produced 50 tonnes of gold in 2015 and expects to increase output this year.
“Despite the timid pick-up of the global economy, Mali has this year (2015) produced 50 tonnes of gold of which 46 tonnes are industrial production and four tonnes are artisanal,” Keita said in a New Year’s speech.
A couple of facilities are expected to come on stream this year to increase total production of the precious stone.
Canadian company Endeavour Mining’s Kofi Nord facility, which is part of its Tabakoto mine in Bamako, Mali’s capital city, will produce an average of 1.8 tonnes per year starting from 2016, the president disclosed. He added that B2Gold’s Fekola mine, which has reserves of 3.15 million ounces, will also start production this year.
Mining is very important to Mali, a country whose economy has been hard hit by extremist attacks over the years. The sector accounts for a quarter of government revenue and together with agriculture, accounts for 80 percent of export. Other natural resources mined in Mali include kaolin, salt, phosphate, and limestone.
Mali’s Mining Minister, Dr. Boubou Cisse’ said last November that the country’s gold production could rise to around 60 tonnes a year by the end of 2017 from 49.865 tonnes in 2014.