Mali has entered into an agreement with Ganfeng to manage the Goulamina lithium mine.

Mali has signed an agreement with China’s Ganfeng Lithium to operate the Goulamina lithium mine and increase its stake in the project in line with a new mining code, according to a statement from the country’s economy ministry.

The mining code, adopted last year, allows the military-led government to boost its ownership in mining projects and address what it describes as a significant production revenue shortfall.

Mali’s share in the Goulamina project will rise to 35% from 20%, the ministry stated on May 16, as reported by Reuters on Friday.

“With this win-win agreement, which defends the vital interests of the Malian people, the State of Mali enters into a new partnership with the Chinese group Ganfeng Lithium Co for the development and operation of the Goulamina lithium project,” the statement read.

Ganfeng Lithium will establish a spodumene plant, slated to begin production by the end of the year.

Earlier this week, Mali’s Economy Minister Alousseni Sanou indicated that the deal could generate between 110 billion and 115 billion CFA francs ($191.51 million) annually for Mali.

This agreement follows Ganfeng Lithium’s acquisition of Australia’s Leo Lithium’s 40% stake in the Goulamina mine for $342.7 million earlier this month. Leo Lithium noted that the risks associated with operating in Mali and the implications of the new mining code prompted the sale, deeming it beneficial for its shareholders.

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