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B2Gold is comfortable being in Mali – CEO

B2Gold CEO Clive Johnson

B2Gold CEO Clive Johnson

23rd September 2020

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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Canada-based gold miner B2Gold has not lost any production because of Covid-19 or the recent military coup in Mali and believes that the political situation in the West African nation is “heading in the right direction”.

Commenting on the August military coup that saw Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resign as President, B2Gold CEO Clive Johnson said that week that the military was working closely with the business community and others to make it a seamless transition.

“The political situation is heading in the right direction, as we hoped it would. It is worth noting there was a political coup in 2011 and the gold industry was not affected,” he said at the Americas Gold Forum, stating that B2Gold was “very comfortable being in Mali”.

Johnson noted that a civilian had been appointed as interim leader and that elections would be held in the next 18 months.

“These are all the things we were hoping to see and all the things the neighbouring African countries wanted to see and international players as well.”

Military leaders on Monday announced the appointment of Bah N’Daou – a retired military officer and a former Defence Minister, who served under Keita – as interim President until elections are held in 2022.

Fellow Canada-based miner Kinross CEO Paul Rollinson said at the Gold Forum Americas that he did not expect the political unrest of Mali to spread to neighbouring Mauritania, where the company is operating.

On Covid-19, Johnson reported that B2Gold had put effort into ensuring protocols were in place to ensure that mining continued and that it could be done safely.

"Morale is very high in the mines. It has been challenging frankly, but we have taken many steps to continue to mine."

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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