June 24 (Reuters) - Canadian gold miner B2Gold Corp
said on Thursday it has begun international arbitration against
Mali in a months-long dispute over the West African country's
denial of a mining permit extension requested by the company.
The Menankoto permit covers an area located 20 km north of
B2Gold's Fekola mine, which is in southwest Mali on the border
with Senegal. B2Gold has invested about $27 million in
exploration over the last seven years.
The previous government, which was ousted in a military
takeover last month, had granted an exploration permit held by
B2Gold to a little-known domestic company in March.
The permit was up for grabs again in May when the ousted
Prime Minister Moctar Ouane issued a decree cancelling the
However, the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water informed
the Canadian miner that its application for permit was rejected
because it was subject of a court decision, the company said on
The miner said it remains committed to talks with the
government to resolve the issue even as the international
arbitration proceedings were launched.
B2Gold said operations at the Fekola mine, which is on a
different permit, are continuing normally.
(Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)