BAMAKO – Mali's State revenues from mining companies rose 1% last year to 247.3-billion CFA francs ($454-million) from 2015 due to a rise in gold prices, the mining ministry said on Tuesday.
Mali is the third-biggest gold producer in Africa after South Africa and Ghana, and gold overwhelmingly dominates its mining sector, which provides about a quarter of government revenues.
Mamadou Sidibe, deputy director of statistics and planning at the ministry, said the gold price rise had offset a fall in exports and roughly stable production.
The price of gold rose around 8.5% in 2016. Mali's industrial gold production rose to 46.9 t in 2016 from 46.5 t in 2015, while total exports including artisanally mined gold fell to 67 t from 70 t.
The revenues included 163.79-billion CFA francs in taxes, 46.62-billion CFA in customs duties and 36.88-billion CFA in dividends and other income streams, Sidibe told Reuters, adding that gold had contributed 5.7% to gross domestic product last year, against 6.2% in 2015.
Industrial production is expected to drop this year to 45 t as new mines prepare to come on line in 2018, but artisanal exports are on track to equal if not surpass industrial output.
Gold producers including Randgold Resources and AngloGold Ashanti have operations in Mali. The country also exports gold from artisanal miners to neighbours such as Ghana and Guinea.