Gold-rich Mali revoked Thursday 130 mining licences, or about 30% of existing permits, as the West African nation completed an “inventory" of mining contracts, announced last year.
A mines ministry official told Reuters the government is now ready to renegotiate concessions that are not considered to be in the country's interests.
Major gold companies operate in Mali, Africa’s third-biggest gold producer after South Africa and Ghana, including AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU), Randgold Resources (LON:RRS), IamGold (TSE:IMG) and Endeavour Mining Corp (TSX:EDV).
Current gold reserves held by mining companies operating in Mali stands at 609.1 tonnes, down from 651.68 tonnes at the end of last year
The figure, released by Mali's ministry of mines early this month, does not include new mining projects such as five licensed projects that are under construction. New mining projects' reserves total 9.7 million ounces or 310 tonnes.
Mali’s government recently awarded four mining permits to Qatar Mining, as the country seeks to boost exploration to offset ageing mines.
Image courtesy of The GEF and the Mercury challenge.