Gold miners in Mali see no immediate sanctions impact

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Companies mining in Mali have not so far been impacted by tough economic sanctions imposed on the country by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), they said, telling investors their mines can withstand potential supply disruption.

Mali is one of Africa's biggest gold producers, with mining contributing around 10% of its gross domestic product.

Canadian miner B2Gold's (BTO.TO) Fekola mine in Mali continues to operate normally and remains unaffected by the sanctions, chief executive Clive Johnson told Reuters.

The regional group imposed the sanctions in response to Mali's delay to planned elections following a 2020 military coup. read more

B2Gold expects Fekola to meet its 2022 production targets and the mine appears well placed to withstand any supply disruptions that could be caused by ECOWAS border closures, Johnson said in written responses to Reuters' questions.

B2Gold is however looking at alternative ways to bring in critical supplies should that be necessary, he said, and alternate plans for the movement of personnel.

Air France cancelled flights to Mali's capital Bamako on Monday, citing security risks. Ivory Coast's national carrier also halted flights, and flights from Senegal were disrupted too. read more

Under the sanctions fuel will still be permitted to pass across regional borders with Mali.

Gold sales from Fekola are expected to continue as normal, Johnson said. B2Gold expects 2021 production from Fekola to be between 560,000 and 570,000 ounces of gold.

Mali's biggest gold miner, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), said its Loulo-Gounkoto mining complex had sufficient supplies to continue operating normally, but that it was monitoring the "very fluid" situation closely. read more

Australian miner Firefinch Ltd said on Wednesday that work at its Morila gold mine was continuing normally, and activities at its Goulamina lithium project were unaffected.

Resolute Mining said operations at its Syama gold mine were also continuing as normal with no immediate impact to production, supply or the safety of employees and contractors.

Reporting by Helen Reid; editing by Jason Neely, Louise Heavens and Tomasz Janowski

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