CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-B2Gold says Mali mine can withstand impact of sanctions
(Corrects production estimate for Fekola mine to 560,000-570,000 ounces from 1,015,000-1,055,000 ounces)
JOHANNESBURG, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Canadian miner B2Gold's Fekola mine in Mali continues to operate normally and remains unaffected by sanctions imposed on the country by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), CEO Clive Johnson told Reuters on Tuesday.
B2Gold expects Fekola to meet its 2022 production targets and the mine appears well placed to withstand any supply disruptions that could be caused by ECOWAS border closures, he said in written responses to Reuters' questions.
"However, we are also looking at alternative routings to bring in some critical supplies should that be necessary," Johnson said, adding that alternate routings may be necessary for the movement of personnel.
Air France cancelled flights to Mali's capital Bamako on Monday, citing security risks. Ivory Coast's national carrier also halted flights, and flights from Senegal were disrupted too.
Fuel supplies are expected to continue to pass through Mali's border with Senegal, Johnson said, as the sanctions permit the passage of fuel across regional borders.
Gold sales from Fekola are expected to continue as normal, he said. B2Gold expects 2021 production from Fekola to be between 560,000 and 570,000 ounces of gold, just over half the company's overall estimated production for the year.
Australian gold miner Resolute Mining said operations at its Syama mine are also continuing as normal with no immediate impact to production, supply or the safety and security of employees and contractors.
Mali's biggest gold miner, Barrick Gold, on Monday said its Loulo-Gounkoto mining complex had sufficient supplies to continue operating normally, but that it was monitoring the "very fluid" situation closely. (Reporting by Helen Reid; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens)