Barrick says situation in Mali “very fluid” but no impact yet from sanctions

BARRICK Gold Corp. said the situation in Mali was “fluid” but reported no impact from sanctions imposed by neighbouring nations.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed the sanctions on January 9 in respect of the movement of cash, people and goods across member borders to Mali after the country said it would push back national elections to 2025.

Mali’s military junta had agreed to return the country to civilian rule in February following two coups and a military takeover dating from 2020.

Mali is one of Africa’s biggest gold producers, with mining contributing around 10% of its gross domestic product. Companies like Barrick, B2Gold and Resolute Mining operate large mines in the country while many smaller companies are exploring for gold there, said Reuters in a report.

Barrick Gold which owns Mali’s biggest gold mine complex Loulo-Gounkoto, said on Monday its mines in the country have “thus far not been affected” by sanctions imposed by the ECOWAS. Barrick said its mines had sufficient stocks and stores to continue operating normally, adding however that the situation was “very fluid” and it was monitoring it closely.

Hummingbird Resources which owns the Yanfolila gold mine, said it was evaluating the risks to its supply chain from economic sanctions.

“Whilst all plans will be made to minimise the potential impact, it is too early to say how these sanctions may potentially affect our business,” Hummingbird said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Cora Gold which plans to start building its Sanankoro gold mine in Mali this year, told Reuters its board was monitoring the situation and operations in Mali are continuing as normal.

B2Gold and Resolute Mining did not immediately reply to requests for comment on the possible impact of the sanctions, the newswire said.