Mali Soon to Operationalize Lithium Mine

The Goulamina Lithium mine in Mali is expected to become operational in August 2024. Once it achieves cruising speed, it will propel Mali as the largest producer of #Lithium in West Africa.

The project is a joint venture (#JV) between the government of Mali and Chinese firm Ganfeng Lithium. The Malian side retains a 35% stake, while the rest is held by Ganfeng Lithium.

The Malian government revealed details of the deal recently. The deal was sealed in accordance to the amended Mining Code which was enacted by Parliament in August 2023. Thus, the Malian government gets a 30% stake and local investors will hold 5%.

Initially, Ganfeng Lithium acquired a 50% shareholding in the mine for USD 130 million. Later, Ganfeng Lithium bought the outstanding shares of Leo Lithium to the tune of USD 342.7 million to become the majority shareholder with a 65% share.

Location of Goulamina Lithium Mine
Location of Goulamina Lithium Mine

The Goulamina Mine is expected to produce at least one million tonnes of spodumene annually during the first few years. With reserves at around 211 million tonnes, the lifetime of the mine is estimated at 23 years. The Lithium concentration in the spodumene has been tested to average 1.37%. It is worth recalling that Lithium is one of the #CriticalMinerals for the #EnergyTransition.

According to the Ministry of Economy of Mali, the project will bring in more than FCFA 100 billion (USD 166 million) in revenue annually to the state coffers. Moreover, the project is projected to generate some FCFA 250 billion in economic activity directly and indirectly.

In addition, Goulamina Mine has employ at least 51% of local contractors as part of the local content requirement. The Malian Ministry of Economy highlighted that some FCFA 25 billion has also been earmarked for infrastructural development around the mine to improve road access, electricity and water supply, which will also benefit the local population.