Mali gold miners Barrick, B2Gold say production unaffected by five day strike

A NATIONWIDE strike by Mali’s main workers’ union had not had a significant impact on gold production, said Reuters citing some of the country’s gold mining firms.

“There has been no major effect on mine operations from the strike,” said Katie Bromley, a spokeswoman for B2Gold, a Toronto-listed firm that operates the Fekola gold mine in the West African country.

A union representative at Fekola told Reuters some workers were on strike and production had continued at a reduced level.

Fekola is expected to produce an average of 400,000 ounces of gold annually over a 12-year lifespan with production during the first five years averaging 550,000 oz annually. Reuters said the mine expects to produce 530,000 and 560,000 ounces this year.

Both Barrick Gold Corporation and Robex have said operations were unaffected by the strike activity. “We do not anticipate any loss of production. We had several strikes like this over the past couple of years and we always managed to keep our operation running,” said Robex spokesman, Aurelien Bonneviot

The National Union of Malian Workers (UNTM), which says it represents 80% of unionised workers, launched a five-day strike on Monday as part of a long-running standoff with the government over wages, said Reuters.

Mali is one of Africa’s largest gold producers.

Union leaders at Resolute Mining also said some workers were on strike, but production was unaffected.