BAMAKO, June 5 (Reuters) – State revenue from gold mining companies in Mali rose 13% in 2020 year-on-year to 457.5 billion CFA francs ($850 million), lifted by higher global prices for the metal during the pandemic, government data showed on Friday.
Mining, mostly for gold, is a pillar of the country’s economy, accounting for almost 10% of gross domestic product (GDP) last year.
Buying of the “safe haven” metal during the pandemic pushed the spot gold price to a record high of more than $2,000 per ounce last August.
“The increase (in revenue) is explained by the slight increase in production but above all by the rise in the price of gold,” said Mamadou Sidibe, director of Mali’s Planning and Statistics Unit.
Mali’s gold output was 71.2 tonnes in 2020 compared with 71.1 tonnes the previous year.
Thirteen industrial gold mining firms operate in Mali including Barrick Gold Corp, Resolute Mining Ltd , B2GOLD, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, and Endeavour Mining Corp.
The country also has some 350 artisanal gold mining sites. ($1 = 538.2500 CFA francs) (Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo Writing by Alessandra Prentice Editing by Helen Popper)