BAMAKO, MALI – Barrick Gold Corporation and AngloGold Ashanti Limited yesterday concluded the sale of their interest in Morila Gold Limited, which owns 80% of the Morila gold mine in Mali, to Firefinch (previously named Mali Lithium) for $28.8 million cash. The state of Mali continues to hold the remaining 20%.
Noting that all Morila employees had been re-employed by Firefinch, Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow said the transaction would benefit the mine’s Malian stakeholders by giving Firefinch the opportunity to extend its life by accessing satellite resources and adapting the infrastructure. The mine had been scheduled for closure in 2021.
Barrick has been the operator of the mine and the sale is in line with its policy of selling non-core assets to concentrate on Tier One mines – those with the capacity to produce at least 500,000 ounces of gold annually for more than 10 years in the lower half of the industry’s cost curve. Bristow said Barrick remained committed to its partnership with Mali, where it owns and operates the Tier One Loulo-Gounkoto gold complex.
The discovery and development of Morila served as the springboard for the Barrick legacy company Randgold Resources’ expansion into Africa. Since it went into production in October 2000 it has produced 6.9 million ounces of gold and paid more than $2.5 billion to its stakeholders in the form of dividends and taxes.
Morila transitioned to a stockpile treatment operation in 2009 and began processing tailings in 2013.