BAMAKO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Mali’s industrial gold production reached 65.2 tonnes in 2020, slightly higher than the previous year’s record production of 65.1 tonnes, mines ministry statistics showed on Tuesday.
Production had been forecast at 59.7 tonnes but surpassed expectations for the second year in a row due to improved technical performance by mining companies, said Aboubacar Ogognagaly, head of the mines division.
Mali’s total gold output for the year was estimated at 71.2 tonnes including an additional 6 tonnes of gold produced by artisanal miners, Ogognagaly added.
The West African country is one of Africa’s biggest gold producers with about 13 mines operated by multinational companies including Barrick Gold , B2Gold and Resolute Mining.
Industrial production is expected to increase further in 2021, although official forecasts were not yet available, said a mines ministry official. (Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)