Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of over 1,240,000 square kilometers. Mali is bounded on the north by Algeria, on the east by Niger and Burkina Faso, on the south by Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, and on the west by Senegal and Mauritania. Gold mining in Mali has a long history, noted from 1433.
IDERA Mineral Resources has started prospecting in Mali, which is among five largest African gold producers, after Ghana, South Africa, Sudan and Tanzania. Idera’s initial exploration works in Mali conducted in early 2020, but not with expected progress, due to numerous problems caused by Coronavirus.
Gold reserves in Mali are easily accessible with open pit mining operations, which makes operation costs much lower, which means that lower grades of ore are economical to mine. Also, highest grade gold in Mali mines goes from 2 grams per ton to 5 grams per ton, which takes Mali to the top of the West African list of the highest grade gold producers.
Idera commenced prospection works in south Mali, near to the Burkina Faso-Mali border and Côte d'Ivoire-Mali border, approximately 400 kilometers south of Bamako, the state capital. Prospection areas are located in gold Sikasso region. This region is made up of a volcanic (andesites, dacite, etc.) and volcano-sedimentary (metagreywacke and tuffs) sequence of Birimian rocks, widely known as gold prospective.
The Birimian rocks display similarities to archean greenstones, which are one of the main sources of gold in the world. They are major sources of gold that extend through Mali, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea and Burkina Faso. Birimian consists in supracrustal rocks (volcanic greenstone belts and sedimentary basins) and TTG gneisses, granitoids and granitic intrusions of different ages. Deposition and emplacement of Birimian rocks date from 2230 Ma to 2060 Ma (for younger magmatic rocks).
In the south Mali, in perimeter of about 250 km there are numerous gold mines and deposits, including Syama, Morila, Kalana etc. and dozens of gold showings which belong to Eburnean orogenic domain who has created Birimian rocks. In this region, beside mines there are artisanal mine workers who have great mining results. All those gold indications and results were tremendously helpful in our prospection and target decision making.