Loading prices...

Register/Sign in
ScrapMonster
Mining News March 05, 2024 03:00:55 PM

Mali Remains Good Bet For Exploration Despite Recent Fatalities, B2Gold Executive Says

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The military-led government in 2022 put new mining permits on hold while it reviewed its mining code.

Mali Remains Good Bet For Exploration Despite Recent Fatalities, B2Gold Executive Says

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Mali remained an exploration focus for B2Gold Corp. BTG after four workers were killed and three hospitalized in a February attack on a company convoy, the miner's chief financial officer said Monday.

The gold mining company on Feb. 15 said three employees died from injuries sustained in an armed attack on a convoy traveling from the company's Fekola Mine to the Mali's capital Bamako. Six days later, B2Gold reported a fourth employee died from injuries sustained in the attack and the three employees were still being treated for their injuries.

The convoy was attacked along the national highway about 75 kilometers (46.6 miles) west of the capital city, B2Gold said. The group was more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) northeast from the mine along a route that has been the focus of increased Malian armed forces presence, the company said. The bus transporting the B2Gold employees was part of a convoy including a Malian gendarme escort. 

The company's employees were in the way of "unruly elements" targeting gendarmes and the military, CFO Mike Cinnamond said Monday at the yearly gathering of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada in Toronto.

"We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said.

Mali has been plagued by violence for more than a decade from political, jihadist and transnational criminal networks, according to the International Crisis Group. Islamist attacks on civilians and government forces in recent years have intensified, and the nation's security forces have summarily executed suspects, Human Rights Watch said. The nation has had three coups since 2012.

Nevertheless, Cinnamond said B2Gold thought the nation was still a good place to explore. The company said it had about $10 million budgeted this year for exploration in the nation, with a focus on high-grade mineralization at Fekola, which is B2Gold's largest producing gold mine.

The military-led government in 2022 put new mining permits on hold while it reviewed its mining code. Last year, it adopted a new code that would increase Malian stakes in new projects. 

Cinnamond said B2Gold expected officials to start issuing new licenses, including regional exploration licenses for the company, again around the halfway point of this year.

The fatalities this year come after a 2022 incident in the same area where B2Gold reported two employees died as a result of injuries sustained in a robbery. Then, a bus also carrying workers from the Fekola mine to Bamako under gendarme escort encountered an ongoing armed robbery about 75 kilometers west of the capital.

In 2015, two company employees had to be extracted from a hotel in Bamako by soldiers after a terrorist group took hostages.

Courtesy: www.tradingview.com

×

Quick Search

Advanced Search