The government of Mali has formed a new a new state-owned mining company. The country’s minister of mines, energy and water, Lamine Seydou Traore confirmed the report and said the new firm is now official having obtained its legal status.
The firm named Société de Recherche et d’Exploitation Minière du Mali (Sorem SA) has been tasked the responsibility of exploring for minerals and developing mines, creating hundreds of local jobs in the process.
Sorem SA will be fully funded by the state and will focus on projects beyond gold, boost training of the specialized local workforce and the acquisition of technologies in the field of the exploitation of mineral resources.
“For the mines that will be developed by Sorem, the state will get 100% of the benefits,” said Souleymane Gueye, president of the legal commission of Mali’s transitional government.
Mining in Mali
The mining industry of Mali is dominated by gold extraction which has given it the ranking as the third largest in Africa. Artisanal miners play a large part in the mining of diamonds. The other minerals extracted are rock salt and semiprecious stones. Phosphates are mined in the Tilemsi Valley. Gold, followed by cotton, is the top export item making a large contribution to the economy of the country.
The Ministry of Mines estimates Mali has 800 tons of gold deposits, two million tons of iron ore, five thousand tons of uranium, 20 million tons of manganese, four million tons of lithium, and ten million tons of limestone.
As the government seeks to reduce dependency on gold and diversify the mining sector, foreign firms have a unique opportunity to support this expansion. Mali has also formalized and reformed the process of registering and delivering research and exploitation permits to mining companies.