BAMAKO, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Mali’s government has shut the offices of companies controlled by Randgold Resources, alleging they owe 46.89 billion CFA francs ($80 million) in unpaid taxes, an adviser to the economy ministry said on Friday.
“In the last three days, we have closed the offices of the company and seized their bank accounts,” Mohamed Lamine Samake told Reuters. “And if they don’t comply within 10 days, we are going to take our actions to the next level.”
Randgold did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mali, which mined 50 tonnes of gold in 2015, is Africa’s third-largest producer after South Africa and Ghana.
Samake said that the money is owed by Gounkoto and Somilo, two companies that work the Loulo-Gounkoto project in southwestern Mali, and Kankou Moussa, a bullion bank that sells gold produced by Randgold’s mines.
Loulo-Gounkoto and the Morila gold mine, which Randgold runs in a joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti and the Malian state, account for between 7 and 11 percent of Mali’s GDP, Randgold has said. (Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Alexander Smith)