Barrick facing uncertainty in Mali, amid reports of regime seeking control of mine – by Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – April 15, 2024)

Barrick Gold Corp. is facing mounting pressure in Mali as the country’s military regime seeks to boost its control of the multibillion-dollar mining sector at a time of growing Russian influence over its economy.

Mali’s junta, which seized power in a coup in 2021 and later forged an alliance with Russian troops, has been targeting the mining sector for more than a year with a controversial audit of the industry and a new mining code to authorize greater state control of mining companies.

Now there are reports that the regime could be seeking to expropriate a key Barrick mining complex, Loulo-Gounkoto, one of the world’s biggest gold-producing mines. Toronto-based Barrick is declining to comment.

The reports coincide with renewed efforts by the regime to tighten its grip on the country. Last week, it suspended the activities of all political parties and banned any media coverage of political organizations.

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