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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.

Mining

Three B2Gold employees killed in bus attack on Mali transport route, several injured

The incident occurred on a convoy headed to the country’s capital Bamako from the Fekola mine

Fekola Mine Mali
The Fekola mine, Mali. Photo credit: B2Gold

B2Gold Corp. (TSX: BTO) (NYSE AMERICAN: BTG) regrettably reported three employee fatalities on Thursday following an attack on a transport convoy heading from Mali’s Fekola mine to the nation’s capital.

Several others were wounded and transported to hospital after the incident, the company said. It is unclear who the assailants were or what their motive for the assault was. B2Gold says it is cooperating with Mali’s government to gain a better understanding.

The route is known to be dangerous and the country’s armed forces have increased their focus on monitoring it. The convoy was being escorted by Malian Gendarmerie vehicles in the front and back, but they were unfortunately unable to thwart the attackers sufficiently. The Gendarmerie is a paramilitary organization and branch of the country’s armed forces responsible for rural areas.

A similar incident occurred at the end of 2022 when a robbery on the same transport route resulted in two fatalities. Just like the attack this week, the employees were killed about 75 kilometres west of Bamako.

“Mining and processing activities at the Fekola Mine have not been impacted by this incident,” the company said in a news release.

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Africa: a dangerous place for mine workers

Violence in Africa’s mining sector is an unfortunate trend.

Just two days ago, 12 workers were murdered and 16 were kidnapped by a militia group at a gold mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A gold quarry was the subject of an overnight attack killing 13 people in the country last August as well.

Six were murdered in an attack on a gold mine transport convoy by a militant group in Burkina Faso that month too, and the list goes on.

B2Gold President Clive Johnson said in a 2022 report that the company was reviewing its security and transport practices following the incident that year. However, following this week’s attack, further review is likely necessary.

In Africa, B2Gold operates Mali’s Fekola mine complex and Namibia’s Otjikoto operation. The company has a broad international influence, including a 25 per cent stake in Calibre Mining (TSX: CXB) (OTCQX: CXBMF). Calibre is a Canada, United States and Central America gold operator.

 

Calibre Mining is a sponsor of Mugglehead news coverage

 

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