Mali is located in western Africa, southwest of Algeria. Mali is today the third largest gold producer in Africa with several new mines being developed by Anglogold and Randgold Resources. The majority of this production is sourced from 3 large scale open cast operations.
First among these is the Sadiola mine. AngloGold, in partnership with Canada's IAMGOLD, started up Sadiola in 1997. Production at the Sadiola mine peaked in 2000 and has produced 0.479 million ounces in 2002 (at a total cash cost of US$172/oz). Another joint venture between AngloGold and Randgold Resources brought the Morila project on stream in October 2000. Morila is now the country's largest gold mine, with production of 1.053 million ounces in 2002 (at a total cash cost of US$74/oz). A third new mine, the heap-leach operation at Yatela, poured first gold in May 2001, and produced 0.268 million oz in 2002 (at a total cash cost of US$187/oz). These mines are among the lowest cost gold producers in the world.
Summary Table of Reserves & Resources
Measured & Indicated
1. Sadiola, located in 400 km WNW of Bamako, Kayes, Mali.
owned by AngloGold Ltd, IAMGOLD Corporation, Mali Government, International Finance Corp.
2. Yatela, located in 25km north of Sadiola mine, Kayes, Mali.
owned by AngloGold Ltd, IAMGOLD Corporation, Mali Government.
3. Morila, located in 4km south of Sanso, Sikasso, Mali.
owned by AngloGold Ltd, Randgold Resources Ltd, Mali Government.
4. Loulo, located in 28 kilometers from Tabakoto, western Mali.
owned by Randgold Resources Ltd.
5. Syama, located in 280 km SE of Bamako, Sikasso, Mali.
owned by Randgold Resources Ltd, Mali Government, International Finance Corp.
The mine was initially brought into production in 1990 and has produced over 1.5 million ounces of gold. Following a sustained drop in the gold price, operations were suspended in early 2001 and the mine was placed on care and maintenance.
There are two main Birrimian greenstone belts as major focus of interest in Malian gold exploration : namely the Kenieba Valley at the Senegal border and the Tabakoto-Baroya area to the South-Southeast of the Capital City Bamako. Orebodies located in these belts usually contain multi-million ounces and become low-cost producers.
The Kenieba Valley belt comprises the Senegalese-Malian major shear that controls the gold deposits such as the Sadiola and Yatela mines to the north and the more southerly Loulo (Randgold), Tabakoto and Segala (Nevsun) discoveries, and the Medinandi deposit in the Tabakoto-Baroya region.
The South belt was the site of a major discovery (Morila) by Randgold in 1998. In its first full year of production (2001) it produced 631,650 ounces of gold at a cash operating cost of US $84/oz. Furthermore, in 1998-99 Ashanti was active in reevaluating the former Kalana Mine (23 tons of gold at 14 g/t) and the Kodieran deposit (2.56 M oz at 2.24 g/t) is at the detailed engineering stage prior to production.
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