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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.
MINERAL QUANTITY REGION
Phosphates 20 Million tons  Tilems
Limestone 40 Million tons  Bafoulabé, Hombori
Rock Salt 53 Million tons  Taoudéni
Bauxite 1.2 Billion tons  Kayes, Ouest de Bamako
Iron Ore 2 Billion tons Kayes, Diamou, etc.
Manganese 10 Million tons Ansongo
Marble 60 Million tons Koulikoro
Copper Occurences Gao, Kidal
Gypsum 450,000 tons Kidal, Tombouctou
Uranium 5,000 tons Kayes
Lead-Zinc 1,7 Million tons Kayes, Kidal

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

  1. SEMOS (SADIOLA)
  2. SEMOS (YATELA)
  3. TAMICO (TABAKOTO)
  4. SOMILO (LOULO)
  5. SOMIKA (KALANA)
  6. MORILA SA (MORILA)
  7. SOMISY (SYAMA)
  8. SOMILO (GOUNKOTO)
  9. WASSOUL’OR (KODERAN)
  10. NAMPALA (NAMPALA)

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