The Malian military government has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the Russian government to build a gold refinery in Bamako, Mali.
Hence, the agreement, which will be valid for four years, aims to extend Russia’s regional influence. The refinery will produce 200 metric tonnes per year and will be the largest in the West African country.
The deal is part of Russia’s deepening interests in Mali, one of Africa’s largest gold producers, as Western influence diminishes.
In October, Russia’s Rosatom signed a deal with Mali to explore minerals and produce nuclear energy.
In 2022, Mali’s military partnered with Russian military contractor Wagner Group, which has operations across Africa, including lucrative mining deals.
Wagner has been accused of human rights abuses in Mali’s fight against Islamists linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State.