Barrick CEO signals protracted fight against Mali government intervention in mining sector – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 2, 2024)

Barrick Gold Corp. is signalling it could be in for a protracted slog in Mali, as the big Canadian gold miner pushes back on the military government’s demands for a greater share of the country’s mining spoils.

Barrick on Wednesday said Mali is seeking unspecified changes to the tax, financial and legal regime at its Loulo-Gounkoto mining operations. The site is on track to produce 535,000 ounces of gold this year and is the company’s biggest operation by far in Africa.

Mali last year introduced a new mining code that will allow its government and the private sector to acquire up to a 35-per-cent stake in mining projects. That’s up from 20 per cent, which is the share Mali owns in the Loulo-Gounkoto complex. The new code is set to affect Barrick’s operations when its permits come up for renewal.

In a conference call with analysts, following the release of the company’s first-quarter earnings, Barrick chief executive Mark Bristow said he is pushing back on Mali’s demands for a greater piece of the economics.

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