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Mali: Mining companies unfazed by ongoing electricity crisis

Friday, 22 March 2024 16:32
Mali: Mining companies unfazed by ongoing electricity crisis

(Ecofin Agency) - Mali faces one of its biggest electricity crises, with frequent outages lasting hours. While the Malian people complain about the situation, which hampers economic activity, mining companies reported that it did not affect their operations.

In Mali, mining firms are unfazed by the ongoing electricity crisis. The firms, we gathered, do not rely on the national grid. Gold mines, for example, have autonomous power plants installed on-site.

"Our Yanfolila operation is not affected by the recent power cuts in Mali, as we are fully powered by our on-site plant", a spokesperson for Hummingbird Resources told the Ecofin Agency.  The British firm operates a mine in southern Mali.

Renewables matter

Historically, most gold mines in Mali have been running on diesel-powered thermal plants. In recent years, however, the mining firms in the country, and across the continent, have been integrating more renewable energy into their energy mix. 

For example, the country’s biggest gold mine, the Loulo-Gounkoto mine, has a 60 MW solar plant that can contribute up to 85% of the mine’s energy mix. The plant was set up by Barrick Gold, the firm that owns the project. Barrick Gold, a Canadian company, is the world’s second-biggest gold producer.

Another company that leverages Mali’s solar energy potential is B2Gold, also Canadian. In early 2021, it commissioned a new 30 MWp solar plant at the Fekola gold mine, the country's second-largest. The plant helped cut the mine’s greenhouse gas emissions by 38,000 t in 2022.

Mali is the third-largest gold producer in Africa, behind Ghana and South Africa. In addition to the companies already mentioned, the Australian Resolute Mining and the Canadian Allied Gold also contribute to an industrial gold production estimated at 68 tons in 2023.

Emiliano Tossou



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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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