Independence Year1960
CurrencyCFA Franc BCEAO
GDP12,074,473,002 (2014 data)
GDP per Capita831 (2014 data)
Land Area1,220,190 km2 (471,118 mi2)
Water Area20,002 km2 (7,723 mi2)
Neighbouring CountriesNiger, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea, Cote D'Ivoire

Mining laws in Mali are based on the French legal framework. Gold extraction has occurred in this West African country since ancient times using simple implements before the modern mechanized system came into practice. This activity is traced to the days of monarchy of the Islamic emperors in the country when salt and gold were major Trans-Saharan trade commodities from Timbuktu and Djenné.

According to Malian government sources, industrial gold miners in Mali, Africa’s third biggest producer, produced 46.9 tonnes of gold in 2016. During the first nine months of 2017, gold output hit 35.2 tonnes.

The government estimates that Mali contains approximately 800 tonnes (approximately 26.7 million ounces) of gold reserves.

Major investors in Mali’s gold sector include Anglo Gold Ashanti, IAMGOLD and Randgold Resources. Late in 2017, B2Gold’s giant Fekola project began production and Hummingbird Resources’ new Yanfolila mine is expected to hit full production in 2018.

The government has also said that informal artisinal miners produced about 50 tonnes of gold in 2017, more than double the 2016 haul of 20.1 tonnes.

Government forecasts are to see combined industrial and informal production to have topped 95 tonnes in 2017, a more than 40 percent rise over 2016.

Speaking at the 2017 Prospector’s and Developers Conference in Toronto, Mali’s Minister of Mines, Prof. Tiémoko Sangaré, said, “With a dozen gold mines in operation, the exploitation of the metal represents about 70% of export earnings and about 8% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2018, three other gold mines may enter into production.”

Further, the Minister noted: “Mali has put in place a very attractive legislative and regulatory framework which can be summed up in a few points:

  • The stability of the tax and customs regime offering actors to migrate to a more favorable;
  • The agreement issued for a period of 30 years;
  • Free choice of suppliers and subcontractors for the acquisition of goods and services;
  • The free importation of goods, materials, equipment, machinery, spare parts and consumables, subject to compliance with the Code customs officer;the free movement in Mali of all materials and goods and all substances and products derived from research and exploitation;
  • Free conversion and transfer of funds to pay debts (principal and interest) in foreign currency vis-à-vis foreign creditors and suppliers;
  • Free conversion and free transfer of net profits to non-WAEMU countries and all funds allocated to the amortization of loans obtained from non-Malian institutions and subsidiaries of the incumbent after the payment of all duties and taxes provided for by the Malian law;
  • Free conversion and transfer of profits and liquidation fund after payment of taxes and customs duties under Malian law;
  • The choice of the arbitration procedure for the resolution of disputes.”