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Mali's new government to review mining contracts: minister

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

By Tiemoko Diallo

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Mali's new government will carry out a "complete inventory" of existing mining contracts and stands ready to renegotiate any which are not in the West African country's interests, the new mining minister told Reuters on Tuesday.

A new government tasked with restoring economic growth and stamping out corruption took office this week in Mali, sub-Saharan Africa's third-largest gold producer, after President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita swept to victory in polls last month.

"The government has decided to carry out a complete inventory of what exists - mining contracts, titles, licenses - be it in the mining or the oil sector," Mines Minister Boubou Cisse said in a brief interview after taking office.

"If there are contracts which it is necessary to revise in the interests of Mali, we will start negotiations with the partners in question," he said.

Cisse, a 39-year-old former World Bank economist, said the inventory would be conducted under complete transparency and its results would be made available to the public.

Mali produces around 50 tonnes a year of gold. Randgold Resources and Anglogold Ashanti are among the international companies operating there.

Cisse said his ministry aimed to increase the contribution of the mining sector in the national economy from around 8 percent at present to 15 to 20 percent in the long term.

(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Daniel Flynn; editing by Mike Collett-White and Christopher Wilson)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130910/malis-new-government-review-mining-contracts-minister