The Mali Mining Sector

  • The mining industry in Mali is dominated by gold extraction which has given it the ranking of third largest gold producer in Africa
  • Artisanal miners play a large part in the mining of diamonds with artisanal mining being a significant source of income for many individuals in Mali
  • Apart from gold, Mali also has potential for several other unexploited natural resources such as bauxite, iron ore, base metals and phosphate deposits
  • A lot of mineral reserves remains unexplored because of a lack of infrastructure
  • Promulgated on 17 February 2012, Mali mining Code broadly seeks to ensure that the risk is shared between the state and mining companies.
  • The government’s mineral code has attracted numerous foreign investors. This has resulted in several new mines (gold in particular), which has boosted the gold mining industry to be Mali’s first largest income earner in terms of exports and fiscal revenues.
  • Gold production forms the cornerstone of the Mali mining sector, representing 95% of the country’s mineral production.
Gold + 1,500 tonnes Bougouni, Kadiolo, Kangaba, Kayes, Keniéba, Kidal, Yanfolila, etc
Bauxite 1.5 Billion tonnes Kayes, Koulikoro, Ségou and Sikasso
Iron Ore 2 Billion tonnes Kayes, Koulikoro
Copper Index Gao, Kayes and Kidal
Uranium + 15,000 tonnes Gao, Kayes and Kidal
Manganese 13 Million tonnes Ansongo, Kayes
Lead-Zinc 2,5 Million tonnes Kayes, Kidal, Sikasso
Coltan (Columbo-tantalite) Index Accident de Banifing (Bougouni), Keniéba
Limestone 60 Million tonnes Bafoulabé, Homborie, Nioro du Sahel
Marble + 100 Million tonnes Bafoulabé, Gao, Koulikoro, Mopti, Nioro du Sahel, Tombouctou, Yélimané
Gypsum 450,000 tonnes Kidal, Tombouctou
Rock Salt 53 Million tonnes Taoudéni
Fluorine Index Adrar des iforas, Nioro du Sahel, Kayes
Phosphates 20 Million tonnes Tilemsi
Chromium – Nikel 1,8 Million tonnes Bougouni, Kadiolo, Kayes

Reforms and perspectives

In order to make its mining sector more competitive, The Government of Mali has engaged into a vast reform program to develop it’s mining sector such as:

  • Development of a new mining policy;
  • The improvement of the mining cadastre and the reduction of the time limit for issuing mining titles;
  • Organization of general states of mining sector;
  • Restructuring of the Mining Sector;
  • Revision of mining code to take in charge the development of small-scale mines, community development;
  • Mapping of the whole birimian to 1 / 50,000 scale;
  • The development of energy, road infrastructures etc.

Further reading can be found on the Ministry of Mines website

Word class mines in Mali include


The Mali Petroleum Industry

  • The potential of Mali’s petroleum industry is already attracting the interest of investors. This potential has been documented since the 1970s, where seismic events and occasional boreholes revealed possible signs of oil.
  • Poor results from these, coupled with a turbulent political history and lack of infrastructure, provided stumbling blocks for exploration majors and no further serious investigations took place until 2004.
  • However with rising prices and improved technologies, the industry is again looking for hydrocarbons in Mali
  • Mali has also stepped up its promotion and research for oil exploration, production and potential export
  • The vast Taoudeni basin, at Mali’s borders with Mauritania and Algeria, shows great potentials for major oil and gas discoveries
  • There are currently several companies operating on the ground and so far the results are encouraging