JOHANNESBURG, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Gold mining companies in
Mali reassured investors on Wednesday that their operations were
continuing as normal despite a deepening political crisis in the
West African nation.
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigned on Tuesday and
dissolved parliament hours after soldiers detained him at
gunpoint and seized power in a coup.
Foreign companies mining in the gold-rich country said they
were monitoring the situation but operations were unaffected by
the coup in the capital Bamako and staff were safe.
Canadian gold miner B2Gold said no operational days
had been lost at its Fekola mine, in which the Malian government
holds a 20% stake, and all mine personnel were safe.
B2Gold said Fekola had sufficient supplies to maintain
activities through the end of the third quarter "and beyond if
Australia's Resolute Mining said the crisis had
"no impact" on production at its Syama mine in the south of the
country, or on the safety of employees and contractors.
London-listed Hummingbird Resources said its
Yanfolila mine was operating as normal.
"The company's security team is in regular contact with the
operational and management team regarding the ongoing safety of
Hummingbird's staff, operations and assets," Hummingbird said in
Analysts said, however, that the continued political
uncertainty in Mali, which is also battling a jihadist
insurgency in the north of the country, could pose risks for the
mining industry in the future.
"In the longer term, there are more clouds for mining
investors as this is the second coup in eight years. It will add
to an already very high risk premium that people associate with
Mali," said Vincent Rouget, analyst at Control Risks Group.
Mali produced 61.2 tonnes of gold in 2019, according to the
World Gold Council, making it Africa's fifth biggest producer of
the precious metal.
(Reporting by Helen Reid in Johannesburg and Zandi Shabalala in
London; Editing by David Clarke)