Gold price rise lifts Mali’s 2016 state mining revenues 1 pct

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An employee of Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewelry K.K. displays a gold bar at the company's store in Tokyo, file. REUTERS/Issei Kato

BAMAKO – Mali’s state revenues from mining companies rose 1 percent last year to 247.3 billion CFA francs ($454 million) from 2015 due to a rise in gold prices, the mining ministry said on Tuesday.

Mali is the third-biggest gold producer in Africa after South Africa and Ghana, and gold overwhelmingly dominates its mining sector, which provides about a quarter of government revenues.

Mamadou Sidibe, deputy director of statistics and planning at the ministry, said the gold price rise had offset a fall in exports and roughly stable production.

The price of gold rose around 8.5 percent in 2016. Mali’s industrial gold production rose to 46.9 tonnes in 2016 from 46.5 tonnes in 2015, while total exports including artisanally mined gold fell to 67 tonnes from 70 tonnes.

The revenues included 163.79 billion CFA francs in taxes, 46.62 billion CFA in customs duties and 36.88 billion CFA in dividends and other income streams, Sidibe told Reuters, adding that gold had contributed 5.7 percent to gross domestic product last year, against 6.2 percent in 2015.

Industrial production is expected to drop this year to 45 tonnes as new mines prepare to come online in 2018, but artisanal exports are on track to equal if not surpass industrial output.

Gold producers including Randgold Resources and AngloGold Ashanti have operations in Mali. The country also exports gold from artisanal miners to neighbours such as Ghana and Guinea.

($1 = 544.4600 CFA francs)

Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Nellie Peyton; editing by Susan Thomas

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