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23 Nov, 2023 09:47

Russia to build gold refinery in West Africa

Moscow and Mali signed a four-year memorandum on Tuesday
Russia to build gold refinery in West Africa

Mali and Russia have signed a deal on the construction of a gold refinery in the West African country’s capital, Bamako, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing Malian Finance Minister Alousseni Sanou.

In an interview on state television, Sanou said the non-binding memorandum of understanding envisages the construction of a 200-ton-per-year gold processing plant, which, once completed, would be the largest of its kind in the country.

This will allow us not only to control all gold production but also to be able to correctly apply all taxes and duties,” Sanou was cited as saying.

The document is valid for four years, the minister added, without providing further details about the construction timeline.

Mali ranked among Africa’s top four gold-producing countries last year, behind South Africa, Ghana, and Burkina Faso, with an output of 66.2 tons of industrial gold. While Mali’s mining industry is dominated by gold extraction, the country also produces diamonds, rocksalt, phosphates, semi-precious stones, bauxite, and iron ore.

The latest deal with Moscow comes just one month after Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom signed an accord with Mali to explore for minerals and “cooperate in the field of peaceful use of atomic energy,” including potentially building nuclear infrastructure in the West African state. That agreement was inked during Russian Energy Week in Moscow in October, where Mali also signed a deal with a Russian firm for the construction of a 200- to 300-megawatt solar power plant by mid-2025.

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