Gold is a source of income for both producers and consumers.

Since it has become a globally traded commodity, it is difficult to distinguish clearly between consumer and producer the consumer from the producer; the interests of the consumer-producers are interdependent and the interests of the consumer-producers are interdependent and depend on the price of gold, the rate of discovery and exploitation of deposits and ore processing technologies, etc.

This interdependence does not exclude competition between producers (poor producing countries, firms and groups of firms), consumers and among themselves. The world gold economy goes beyond the framework of a single economy, it is above all the meeting of large mining groups, states with exploitable reserves and all kinds of gold buyers.

Gold has always been prized as a display item, a demonstration of wealth and a store of value.

Probably the first commodity traded worldwide, gold provided the economic basis for the development of the great African kingdoms.

This is why the Ghana Empire (300 to 1240 after Jesus christ) and the Mali Empire (750 to 1337 after Jesus christ) took advantage of the gold trade to develop.

During the pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324, Emperor Kankou Moussa and his entourage brought with them gold ingots from Mali valued today at more than $100 million U.S. The consequence of their passage to Egypt (Cairo) was a fall in the price of gold for about 12 years.

Thus, from the Empire of Ghana to the current Republic of Mali, gold has always been mined by the populations using techniques or technologies that are now qualified as traditional or artisanal.


Artisanal gold mining or traditional gold panning consists of small-scale mining of precious substances, in this case gold and diamonds, from gold panning fields or primary deposits that are outcropping or near-outcropping. In practice, it is organized by village communities. This organization, ranging from the village in which a gold panning field or corridor is located to the other actors, is a simple and hierarchical traditional structure for managing the activity.

The Republic of Mali has played an important role in the international gold market since it became a globally traded commodity at the end of the first millennium.

 Traditional gold mining techniques continue with the gold panners in deep Mali. From this period until the development of the mining code in 1970 and before the advent of SOGEMORK, gold production was artisanal.

Despite its importance as a source of income for millions of people, artisanal mining in Mali generated little revenue for the government.

It was not until 1970 that Malian legislation actively encouraged modern, mechanized exploration and production.

Industrial gold production (modern sector or large-scale production) began in February 1990 when SOMISY extracted gold ore from the Syama mine located southeast of Bamako. From almost 2 tons in the first year, production increased to 4 tons in 1996.

The revision of the mining legislation in 1991 (new code) saw the start of new exploration in the southwest of the country in the Kayes region. Production began in the Sadiola mine in 1997 with SEMOS on a rich vein; thus, Malian production increased very rapidly.

In 1998, Mali ranked fourth in Africa south of the Sahara behind South Africa, Ghana and the

Africa, Ghana and Zimbabwe and in 16th position worldwide.