Mali’s industrial gold production rose to 49.6 t in 2017, up 5% from the previous year, a senior official of the Mines Ministry has disclosed.
The figure exceeds the 46.9 t that Africa’s third-largest producer managed in 2016 and was well ahead a forecast of 45 t that the government had predicted half way through 2017.
“There was real progress in the industrial mines … a net improvement in performance,” Karim Berthe, Deputy Director of Mali’s Department for Mines and Geology, said in a statement.
Major investors in Mali’s gold sector include Anglo Gold Ashanti and Randgold Resources. Last year’s output was boosted by the start of production at B2Gold’s giant Fekola project.
Fekola and Hummingbird Resources’ new Yanfolila mine are also expected to hit full production this year.
Industrial mining currently makes up only half of Mali’s gold output, the government estimates, with about 50 t a year produced by artisanal miners.