* New listings have struggled as investors wary of risk
* Aiming to establish 1 million ounce mine
* Malian government seen as investment-friendly
By Barbara Lewis
LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - West African-focused Cora Gold Limited on Monday lists on London's AIM market for small companies to raise 3.45 million pounds ($4.5 million) to fund exploration at its flagship Sanankoro project in Mali.
The company, whose shares start trading at 0700 GMT, is the latest in a string of junior miners to launch on the London market this year as the sector slowly recovers from the commodity price crash of 2015-16.
CEO Jon Forster said Cora Gold would stand out as an African small-cap exploration and development company.
"We will occupy a niche in the London market," he said in an interview. "There are very few peer comparisons, very few junior explorers and this is the sector that has the greatest chance of making multiples for investors."
It also offers some of the highest risk and junior miners have struggled to attract investment this year even as the major companies have rallied, led by Glencore, which has embarked on a series of deals as it moves from recovery to growth.
Forster said Cora Gold was still relatively low-risk as historic exploration work has established the presence of gold and his team has a track record of finding resources.
His aim over the next 9 months is to demonstrate the value of a 14 kilometre stretch of gold territory.
"We believe we have very good potential to increase the scale of the discovery to 1 million ounces of in-situ gold and create a standalone mine," he said.
Other miners that have listed in London this year are Rainbow Rare Earths, active in Burundi, Jangada Mines , which is exploring for gold and platinum in Brazil, Phoenix Global Mining, developing a U.S. copper mine, Russian gold miner Polyus, , and Altus Strategies, which describes itself as a "project generator".
With the exception of Polyus, listed on the main market, new small-cap listings have tended to struggle.
One issue is concerns about political risk as the sector disputes South Africa's proposed mining law and Tanzania's president has introduced a series of measures to increase greatly the nation's share of profits from mining.
Forster said he was confident the Malian government would remain friendly.
"Mali is very pragmatic. It understands the advantage of having a thriving mining sector," he said.
$1 = 0.7656 pounds Editing by Louise Heavens