Africa’s crackdown on informal gold miners spreads to Mali – by Katarina Hoije (Bloomberg News – November 2021)

Mali is getting closer to bringing in new rules to better control artisanal gold mining and overtake South Africa as the continent’s second-biggest producer.

The country has struggled to keep tabs on informal output that’s sold on the black market or smuggled out, and gold is also being illegally funneled through the nation from its neighbors. While a mining code that came into force in late 2020 set out plans to overhaul the sector, no measures were implemented.

That’s now changing. The government plans to require permits for small-scale miners and set up 200 cooperatives with the help of the World Bank as part of a move to formalize trade by middlemen.

Also, Barrick Gold Corp. will assist in allocating land for those workers to formalize sales, Mining Minister Lamine Traore said in an interview. Those changes — being worked on into 2022 — could see Mali’s total output rise 15%, he said.

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