Change to Mali mining code stability period in line with international norms – ministry

Fekola gold mine, B2Gold, Mali

RECENT changes to the mining code of Mali was in order to bring legislation relevant to the resources sector in line with international norms, said Reuters citing the West African country’s mining ministry.

One of the key alterations is to bring the stability period down to 10 years from the 30 years allowed under the previous code. “In the sub-region, Mali was one of the few countries to have a long (stability period),” said Lassana Guindo, a technical advisor at the ministry who is in charge of the new code for Mali.

The stability period exempts mining companies from any mining code changes that may take place after they have committed to investment in the country.

The mines ministry also ended an exemption from value-added tax during production, but did not specify by how much it would shorten the period under which firm’s investments are protected from changes to fiscal and customs regimes, said Reuters.

Companies operating in the country include Barrick Gold Corp, B2Gold, Hummingbird Resources and AngloGold Ashanti, it said.

The new code is an opening salvo in what could be a protracted negotiation between the government and corporates over mining regulation in Africa’s third-largest gold producer, said the newswire. The move is seen by some as a new instance of resource nationalism on the continent, it said.