Mali’s gold exports eased 0.3% in 2020 because of a drop in exports from artisanal production, external trade data from the country’s statistics agency showed on Saturday.
Mining, mostly for gold, is a pillar of the country’s economy, accounting for almost 10% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020.
The country exported 65.42 tonnes last year, against 65.67 tonnes in 2019, Diatigui Camara, head of foreign trade statistics at Instat, told Reuters.
The data was published after a lengthy delay caused by the covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing political crisis, he said.
Thirteen industrial gold mining firms operate in Mali, including Barrick Gold Corp, Resolute Mining Ltd , B2GOLD, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, and Endeavour Mining Corp.
The country also has some 350 artisanal gold mining sites, which officially exported 170 kg in 2020, down from 540 kg the previous year, Camara said.
In recent years higher taxes have prompted artisanal gold exporters to avoid official customs channels, a statistics official, who asked not to be identified, said.