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Issue #1578      January 23, 2013

The war on Mali: What you should know

The French government has stated that it would “send 2,500 troops to support Malian government soldiers in the conflict against Islamist rebels. France has already deployed around 750 troops to Mali, and French carriers arrived in Bamako on Tuesday morning ...

“We will continue the deployment of forces on the ground and in the air ...

“We have one goal. To ensure that when we leave, when we end our intervention, Mali is safe, has legitimate authorities, an electoral process and there are no more terrorists threatening its territory.”

So this is the official narrative of France and those who support it. And of course this is what is widely reported by the mainstream media.

France is supported by other NATO members. US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed that the US was providing intelligence to French forces in Mali. Canada, Belgium, Denmark and Germany have also publicly backed the French incursion, pledging logistical support in the crackdown on the rebels.

If we are to believe this narrative we are misled again about the real reasons. A look at Mali’s natural resources reveals what this is really about.

Mali’s natural resources

Gold: Mali is Africa’s third largest gold producer with large scale exploration ongoing. Mali has been famous for its gold since the days of the great Malian empire and the pilgrimage to Mecca of the Emperor Kankou Moussa in 1324. On his caravan he carried more than eight tonnes of gold! Mali has therefore been traditionally a mining country for over half a millennium.

Mali currently has seven operating gold mines which include Kalana and Morila in Southern Mali, Yatela, Sadiola and Loulo in Western Mali, and mines which have recently restarted production notably Syama and Tabakoto. Advanced gold exploration projects include Kofi, Kodieran, Gounkoto, Komana, Banankoro, Kobada and Nampala.

Uranium: encouraging signs and exploration in full swing. Exploration is currently being carried out by several companies with clear indications of deposits of uranium in Mali. Uranium potential is located in the Falea area which covers 150 square kilometres of the Falea-North Guinea basin, a Neoproterozoic sedimentary basin marked by significant radiometric anomalies. Uranium potential in Falea is thought to be 5,000 tonnes. The Kidal Project, in the north eastern part of Mali, with an area of 19,930 square kilometres, the project covers a large crystalline geological province known as L’Adrar Des Iforas. Uranium potential in the Samit deposit, Gao region alone is thought to be 200 tonnes.

Diamonds: Mali has potential to develop its diamond exploration: in the Kayes administrative region, 30 kimberlitic pipes have been discovered of which eight show traces of diamonds.

Precious stones: consist of the following and can be found in:

  • Circle of Nioro and Bafoulabe: Garnets and rare magnetic minerals;
  • Circle of Bougouni and Faleme Basin: Pegmatite minerals;
  • Le Gourma – garnet and corindons;
  • L’Adrar des Ilforas – pegmatite and metamorphosing minerals;
  • Hombori Douentza Zone: quartz and carbonates.

Iron Ore, Bauxite and Manganese: significant resources present in Mali but still unexploited. Mali has according to estimates more than two million tonnes of potential iron ore reserves located in the areas of Djidian-Kenieba, Diamou and Bale.

Bauxite reserves: are thought to be 1.2 million tonnes located in Kita, Kenieba and Bafing- Makana. Traces of manganese have been found in Bafing – Makana, Tondibi and Tassiga.

Other mineral resources and potential in Mali

Calcarous rock deposits: 10 million tonnes ( Gangotery), 30 million tonnes ( Astro) and Bah El Heri ( Nord de Goundam) 2.2 million tonnes.

Copper: potentialities in Bafing Makan ( Western Region) and Ouatagouna ( Northern Region).

Marble: Selinkegny ( Bafoulabe) 10.6 million tonnes estimated reserves and traces at Madibaya.

Gypsum: Taoudenit ( 35 million tonnes), Indice Kereit ( Nord de Tessalit) 0.37 million tonnes.

Kaolin: Potential estimated reserves (1 million tonnes) located in Gao ( Northern Region).

Phosphate: Reserve located at Tamaguilelt, production of 18,000 tonnes per annum and an estimated potential of 12 million tonnes. There are four other potential deposits in the North of 10 million tonnes.

Lead and zinc: Tessalit in the Northern Region (1.7 million tonnes of estimated reserves) and traces in Bafing Makana ( Western Region) and Fafa (Northern Mali).

Lithium: Indications in Kayes ( Western Region) and estimated potential of 4 million tonnes in Bougouni ( Southern Region).

Bitumen schist: Potential estimated at 870 million tonnes, indications found in Agamor and Almoustrat in the Northern Region.

Lignite: Potential estimated at 1.3 million tonnes, indications found in Bourem (Northern Region).

Rock Salt: Estimated potential of 53 million tonnes in Taoudenni ( Northern Region).

Diatomite: Estimated potential of 65 million tonnes in Douna Behri ( Northern Region).

Mali’s petroleum potential

Mali’s petroleum potential has been documented since the 1970’s where sporadic seismic and drilling revealed probable indications of oil. With the increasing price of global oil and gas resources, Mali has stepped up its promotion and research for oil exploration, production and potential exports. Mali could also provide a strategic transport route for Sub-Saharan oil and gas exports through to the Western world and there is the possibility of connecting the Taoudeni basin to European market through Algeria.

Work has already begun to reinterpret previously gathered geophysical and geological data collected, focussing on five sedimentary basins in the North of country including: Taoudeni, Tamesna, Ilumenden, Ditch Nara and Gao.

So here we have it. What is being done now in Mali through bombs and bullets is being done to Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain by means of debt enslavement.

And the people suffer and die

The British Guardian reported:

“Sory Diakite, the mayor of Konna, says the dead included children who drowned after they threw themselves into a river in an effort to escape the bombs.

“Others were killed inside their courtyards, or outside their homes. People were trying to flee to find refuge. Some drowned in the river. At least three children threw themselves in the river. They were trying to swim to the other side. And there has been significant infrastructure damage,” said the mayor, who fled the town with his family and is now in Bamako.

globalresearch.ca  

Next article – Zero troops in Afghanistan is the right number

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