AngloGold Ashanti, Barrick Gold to sell Morila Gold stakes

In the wake of a lingering political crisis , AngloGold Ashanti and Barrick Gold will sell their effective 80% stake in the Morila Gold Mine in Mali.

Australian company, Mali Lithium will buy the firm that holds the two miners’ stakes in the mine – the other 20% of which is owned by the government of Mali – for a fee estimated at between $22 million and $27 million.

Both miners say the deal will allow them to focus their capital or attention elsewhere, extend the mine’s lifespan and “benefit in-country stakeholders”. Neither acknowledged the political situation in Mali. 

Mali’s President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigned and dissolved parliament earlier in August, hours after soldiers held him at gunpoint and seized power in a coup- causing the closure of the country’s borders, in a country where miners typically fly their gold out to be refined. 

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It also raised the risk of further political turmoil in Mali, which, in common with other countries in the region, faces a growing threat from Islamist militants. 

According to Barrick Gold, the mine, known in its heyday as “Morila the Gorilla”, had produced 6.9 million ounces of gold, generated more than $2.5 billion for its stakeholders in taxes and dividends and served as its legacy firm’s base for expansion elsewhere in Africa.

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