Mali Triples Bauxite Estimates to 1.63 Billion MT

After a series of significant discoveries, the Republic of Mali’s Chamber of Mines now estimates a tonnage of 1.63 billion metric tons lies beneath the surface of its Falea project, which it says is equivalent to 572 million metric tons of primary aluminium.

Chamber of Mines President Abdoulaye Pona informed Reuters earlier this week that the country’s initial projection of 439 million metric tons of bauxite was adjusted upward due to the discovery of 720 million metric tons of bauxite at Bouala and 480 million metric tons at Torolo. The new finds will produce 252 million metric tons and 168 million metric tons of aluminium, respectively.

The announcement was made amid a push by the landlocked African state to develop mining operations for metals other than gold, of which it is the third-largest producer on Earth. Mali has been working in partnership with the People’s Republic of China on plans to build railroad infrastructure for transporting its metal wares to the Atlantic coast as well. The country has signed US$11 billion in deals to date with Chinese firms on deals for building rail lines to Conakry and improving a line to Dakar, which is the country’s primary port.

“The (project) is just waiting for the start of the construction of the rails to start the construction of the ramps connecting the production sites to the main track,” he explained.

Dialla Konate, country manager for Luxembourg rights-holder Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) S.à r.l., told Reuters that the firm was “studying the possibility of (using) … the port of Conakry.”

“Moreover, we are considering … supplying the local market by truck. We are in talks with local cement manufacturers (who use bauxite), which means that production could start at any time,” he added.

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