West African gold and iron ore - a mining boom in one fifth of Africa
Gold mines in Mali are an underexploited treasure trove for commodity investors, the supervisory board chairman of German-listed Pearl Gold told
Reuters in an interview, Mineweb reports. International Mining will publish a comprehensive review of West African mining in its August issue,
examining dozens of projects in gold, iron ore and more. All the iron ore majors - such as ArcelorMittal, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Vale are
there. Gold projects abound. “Mali is certainly one of the most promising locations for gold mining at present,” Robert Goninon said in the
Reuters interview. “Other countries like Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Ghana offer lucrative gold mining opportunities too.
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“Mali’s political stability and legal framework sets it apart from its neighbours,” he added. Regulation in Mali ensures that both nationals
and non-nationals can exploit deposits under the same conditions — a privilege not always granted to foreign investors. Pearl Gold, a holding
company listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange at the end of 2010, focuses on investments in West African exploration and mining corporations,
especially in the field of gold and other precious metals. It already holds a 25% stake in Malian company Wassoul’Or S.A, which operates the
Kodieran mine that it believes to contain about 1.75 Moz of recoverable gold.
“Our short-term aim is to start industrial-scale gold production in Kodieran,” Goninon said. Pearl Gold is also eyeing other mines as
acquisition targets, he said, but declined to name specific mines or companies.
Wassoul’Or was founded by the respected Malian businessman Aliou Boubacar Diallo to operate the Wassoul’Or mine. Located in Kodieran, Wassoul’
Or is one of Mali’s promising mining companies with well developed logistic and infrastructure facilities (300 km gravel roads southeast of
Bamako). It put in place a pilot plant with a capacity of 1,000 t/d which was successfully operated for a period of 12 months in order to optimise
the processing and the commissioning of the effective production plant of 11,000 t/d which is to be built within the next few months. The project
is well advanced and has a relatively short time line to effective production.
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