Bamako, Mali — MININGREVIEW.COM — 29 October 2008 – The anti-graft Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is to publish its first report on West African gold producer Mali early next year.
Mali is a candidate country to join the EITI – a scheme under which resources companies and governments make public the amounts of money that pass between them.
“Our principle is to compare the sums of money paid by mining firms with the flows of capital received into the treasury, publish those, and if there is a difference then explain that difference,” said EITI permanent secretary in Mali Sidi Mohamed Zouboye.
“To do that we are in the process of recruiting an audit office with financing from the World Bank,” he added. “The report is expected at the start of 2009,” Zouboye told Reuters.
The news agency reports that international lenders are increasingly making transparency of resources income a key issue when dealing with African countries. Last month, the Malian finance ministry said it was creating a special account for its gold revenues.
Other candidates to join the EITI include fellow African nations Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Congo Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo.
“In Mali, there is a real need to educate people about the mining industry,” Zouboye said.
“The population doesn’t understand anything about mines, because the mineral industry is heavy, aggressive, uses modern technology and calls for skills which can’t be found in Mali,” he explained.
"Production is almost exclusively destined for export,” he continued, “so accountability isn’t a matter for shopkeepers, it’s a matter for international banks and exchanges, and there is a need for greater public information.”
Firms active in Mali include the world’s No.3 gold miner AngloGold Ashanti and Randgold Resources.