ProEdgeWire Addresses Mali Risks in International Radio Broadcast
ProEdgeWire has been following the situation in Mali closely, given that it is one of the most important countries for North American resource investors. An Italian radio station, affiliated with the prestigious financial publication ‘Il Sole 24 Ore’, Italy’s main business and economics publication, similar in content and tone to the London ‘Financial Times’, has recognized our efforts in presenting the situation in Mali and interviewed Alessandro Bruno on the risks that a military mission would imply for mining companies in the African country. The interview is one of a three part series on the topic, which also featured former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, whom Un Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently appointed as the his Special Envoy for Mali. For those of you who understand Italian, there is a link to the interview below.
Mansa Musa I, had the honor of serving as King, ruling over the Malian empire in the 14th century. While you may have heard that Bill Gates or Warren Buffett are billionaires, it turns out that on an ‘adjusted’ basis, our friend Mansa Musa has been described as the richest person who ever lived. The King was rich thanks to Gold and Salt and, indeed, Mali is still rich in resources today: oil and minerals. Mali’s has become the world’s third largest producer of gold in the world and some of the main players involved are Canadian, including IAMGOLD and Avion Gold. Last spring, Mali became embroiled in a Touareg and Islamist rebellion in the northern regions, which has increased investment risk, or at least the perception of it. Nevertheless, Mali has remained one of the world’s leading gold producers. Mining giants such as AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG) and Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) have also continued to run their significant operations in the country, avoiding the risks because gold is largely extracted in the south, unaffected by the rebellion in the north. Canadian Avion Gold and Iamgold are also operating in Mali. Mali has received UN permission to authorize a military operation to counter the rebels and the operation has received strong support from the European Union. The Economic Community for Western African States (ECOWAS) has already approved the plan. Apart from strategic and humanitarian aspects, a likely military intervention to liberate northern Mali from islamist rebels, would inevitably raise concerns about the management of Mali’s mineral wealth. However, the most important currently extracted resources such as gold, are produced in an area far from the eventual conflict zone; however, two new potential developments, oil and phosphate, are located in the very heart of the targeted region.
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