Mali interim government considering review of mining conventions

MALI intends to review mining conventions signed with companies during the previous administration, said Reuters citing the West African country’s interim, President Bah N’daw.

N’Daw’s comments followed recommendations from the auditor-general, who said: “The conventions establishing mining companies include clauses which do not always guarantee the protection of the interests of the state”.

“In particular, the non-distribution of dividends, the non-payment of certain taxes, to which is added the existence of unjustified loans, all of which deprive the state of financial resources,” said Mali’s auditor-general, Samba Alhamdou Baby.

Mali’s parliament approved a new code in April that removes mining companies’ value added tax exemptions during production and shortens the period during which they are protected from fiscal changes to 20 years, said Reuters.

Some of the world’s most prominent gold mining companies operate in Mali including Barrick Gold, AngloGold Ashanti as well as B2Gold and Resolute Mining.

N’daw said the recommendations were instructions to the interim administration, which he said would make the mining sector a priority during its 18-month term.

“I will assure you that everything will be done so that the state assumes its responsibilities and receives from the mining sector what is due to it,” N’daw said.

Mali’s transitional government was appointed early this month following the August 18 military coup that ousted the government of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.