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Yatela Gold Mine, Mali



The Yatela Gold Mine is located 25 kilometres north of the Sadiola Gold Mine in southwest Mali, West Africa near the Senegal-Mali border, approximately 50 kilometres to the SSW of the town of Kayes, the regional capital.  Kayes has a population of roughly 100,000 people.  The city is located 510 kilometres northwest of the Mali capital Bamako.

The Republic of Mali is a landlocked nation bordering Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. The country is just over 1,240,000 km² with an estimated population of almost 12,000,000.

The Yatela Mining Permit covers an area of 195 square kilometres in a remote part of Mali.  In 2005, a new access road was constructed between Yatela and Sadiola to facilitate movement between the two operations.

There is an airstrip at the Sadiola Gold Mine capable of handling light aircraft on a charter basis from Bamako.

Kayes is serviced by rail, road and air from Bamako, the capital of Mali, and from Dakar, the capital of Senegal. Bamako has an international airport with daily flights to many other West African and European destinations.  There are return flights twice a week between Bamako and Kayes. Dakar is a major port of entry to West Africa by sea and air and the primary supply route for imported goods coming to the minesite.



The Sadiola deposit was identified as a favourable gold exploration area, based upon the widespread evidence of artisanal gold workings, and small scale mining by locals. Written records of mining at Sadiola reportedly date back almost 300 years and the extent of the old workings suggests that the mining could have occurred over 1,000 years ago.  The Yatela area was recognized early on in this exploration rush as having the potential to host a mineable deposit.

In late 1997, IAMGOLD and Anglo American signed an agreement with Eltin Limited of Australia to purchase the Yatela concession located 25 kilometres north of the Sadiola Gold Mine. The purchase was completed in early 1998 and a feasibility study managed by AngloGold was commenced in March 1998.  The final feasibility study was issued in November 1999. The Government of Mali issued an exploitation permit for the Yatela project in February 2000. IAMGOLD and AngloGold then agreed to proceed with the development of the Yatela Gold Mine.  The gold assets of Anglo American were eventually spun off to form the largest part of a new company:  AngloGold Ashanti.

AngloGold Ashanti, through its wholly-owned subsidiary AngloGold Ashanti Mali S.A. (‘‘AngloGold Mali’’), is the operator of the Yatela Gold Mine.


1987       Government of Mali began exploration of Sadiola/Yatela area
1997       IAMGOLD and AngloGold Ashanti acquired Yatela
1999       Yatela feasibility study completed
2000       Development of the Yatela Gold Mine commenced
2001       Yatela Gold Mine commenced production