BAMAKO (Reuters) – Industrial gold production in Mali could drop slightly this year as the West African country awaits production from new mines in 2018, the ministry of mines said on Friday.
Output from large-scale mines, including Anglo Gold Ashanti and Randgold Resources, in Africa’s third-largest gold producer is expected to hit 45 tonnes in 2017, down from 46.9 tonnes last year, said National Director of Mines, Lelanta Hawa Ba.
He said the forecast was subject to revision upwards, however, depending on mines coming online. Last year Mali beat its production forecasts, and he said that could be possible this year too.
Canadian miner B2GOLD’s Fekola mine is expected to produce about 10 tonnes per year and Hummingbird Resources’ Yanfolila mine about 3 tonnes, according to the ministry. The mines are expected to start full production next year.
Artisinal output is set at 4 tonnes, making total official production of 49 tonnes in 2017. Artisinal production is much higher than 4 tonnes, ministry officials say, but there are no exact figures and the government prefers to cap it at 4 tonnes in official forecasts.
The gold industry contributes around a quarter of the government’s revenues.
(Reporting Tiemoko Diallo,; Writing by Edward McAllister; Editing by Susan Thomas)