SEMAFO Operations in Niger

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Background

SEMAFO operates the Samira Hill Mine located within the gold belt, commonly referred to as the 'Samira Horizon'.[1] The Samira Hill Mine is, as of 2011, the only gold mine in industrial production in Niger.[2]

Production

The mine is operated by Société des Mines du Liptako (SML) ,[3] a subsidiary of SEMAFO with a 20 percent stake owned by the government of Niger.[4] In 2011, gold production from the Samira Hill Mine was reduced to 1,320 kilograms, compared to 1,596 kilograms in 2010 and 1,770 kilograms in 2009 - SEMAFO say that this was due to the processing of a lower grade ore.[2] In 2010, SEMAFO announced the discovery of two new high grade gold ore zones within the Samira Hill Mine: the Boulon Jounga North and the Libdorado Northwest zones.[5]

Controversy

According to Reuters, in July 2010 a government committee designed to tackle economic and financial irregularities was investigating SEMAFO: "Since this company started its activities, Niger has not seen a single franc despite its being a shareholder," committee president Abdoulkarim Mossi said, referring to the 20 percent state share in Semafo's Samira Hill mine.[6] SEMAFO's President, Benoit La Salle responded to the criticism by stating that the company had not yet paid out dividends since its initial capital expenditure on the mine had not yet been fully recovered. La Salle highlighted that between 2004 and 2009 the company had already paid nearly US$ 25 million in taxes, royalties and local salaries. [4] In addition he pointed out that in this period Société des Mines du Liptako had spent over US$ 153 million on locally-sourced goods and services.[4]

References

  1. "Operations: Niger" SEMAFO, retrieved 9 April 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Minerals in Mali and Niger - Advance Release" US Geological Survey, retrieved 29 March 2012.
  3. "Contact Us: Niger" SEMAFO, retrieved 9 April 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "SEMAFO makes strong case on Niger gold mine agreement" Mineweb, retrieved 9 April 2012.
  5. "Press Release 08/03/2010" SEMAFO, retrieved 29 March 2012.
  6. "Could Semafo be facing an African gold take-away?" Mineweb, retrieved 9 April 2012.