Lifting of Mali sanctions helps relieve gloom in Resolute Mining share price

Malian troops stand guard prior to the visit of the French Prime Minister at the Operation Barkane military French base in Gao, Mali, on February 24, 2019. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images)

SHARES in Resolute Mining gained just over 15% in Sydney after the company announced sanctions had been lifted on Mali where it operates the Syama gold mine.

Resolute said earlier today it was “… pleased to announce that the economic and financial sanctions imposed on Mali by ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) on 9 January 2022 were lifted on 3 July 2022.

“The ECOWAS decision was made after Mali’s interim government proposed a 24-month transition to democracy and published a new electoral law.”

Today’s share price recovery helps lift the gloom at Resolute which sank to an all time low on July 1 of 22 Australian cents per share. The stock is down 77% in the last five years and 54% lower in the last 12 months.

Resolute has been through the wringer in the last two years following the resignation of long-standing CEO John Welborn in October 2020. Welborn was replaced by Stuart Gale, appointed permanent CEO in April 2021. However, Gale abruptly resigned this year. Gale was replaced by Resolute’s COO Terry Holohan in April.

Resolute owns two producing gold mines which are Syama in Mali and Mako in Senegal which together produced 319,271oz of gold during 2021 – well below Welborn’s one time ambition of making Resolute a 500,000 oz/year producer. Welborn encountered a string of technical challenges at Syama including roaster problems followed by strikes.

Syama has been largely unaffected by political events in Mali, however. The lifting of sanctions on the West African country comes after ECOWAS met in Accra over the weekend to assess efforts to secure guarantees for restoring civilian rule.

Mali underwent coups in August 2020 and May 2021, followed by Guinea in September 2021 and Burkina Faso this January. Fearing contagion in a region known for military takeovers, ECOWAS imposed tough trade and economic sanctions against Mali, but lesser punishments against Guinea and Burkina, said France24 in a report.

“After discussion, the heads of state took a firm first decision to lift the economic and financial sanctions,” ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou told reporters about the decision on Mali. Brou said ECOWAS would continue to monitor the situation and also maintain an ECOWAS suspension of Mali for now.