Bamako, Mali — MININGREVIEW.COM — 21 June 2010 – The government of Mali has announced an upward increase in its 2010 gold output forecast to a total of 52 tonnes from 49.9 tonnes, as surging world prices encourage mining companies to raise production.
Still, Reuters reports from here that the projection marks a nearly 4% annual decline from Africa’s third largest gold producer “’ a largely desert country that relies on the metal for 70% of its exports and 15% of its gross domestic product.
“During the first four months of the year, production from companies rose to 14.9 tonnes,” said Djibouroula Togola, mining adviser at the Mali Mines Ministry. “On this basis, we think that production will hit 48 tonnes or more, and if we add another 4 tonnes from artisinal mining, the national output forecast reaches 52 tonnes.”
Gold prices hit a record $1 257.85 an ounce in Europe on Friday.
Mali’s gold production has been hit by slowing output from some of its biggest operations, many of which are nearly played out. The giant Morila gold mine, for example “’ a joint venture between Randgold Resources and AngloGold Ashanti “’ is expected to produce 7 tonnes of gold in 2010 from 12.31 tonnes in 2009, and is set to close in the next few years.