BAMAKO Oct 10 Mali's government ordered
Randgold Resources on Monday to pay half the 46.89
billion CFA francs ($80 million) it says the London-listed miner
owes it before opening talks about the remaining sum.
The government last week closed the offices of companies
controlled by Randgold, leaving three of its mines there
In a statement on Sunday, Randgold said it has been advised
that "a large portion" of the government's tax claim is
unfounded and that it looked forward to discussing the dispute
"We have said that we first demand the payment of 50
percent," Mohamed Lamine Samake, an adviser to the economy
ministry, told Reuters. "And that then, we will come to the
table to discuss a repayment schedule for the remainder."
Samake also said Randgold must provide accounting
information to the government that it has refused to give to tax
A Randgold spokeswoman said CEO Mark Bristow was not
immediately available for comment.
Randgold says its mines account for between 7 and 11 percent
of gross domestic product (GDP) in Africa's third-largest gold
producer. Gold and cotton are the two largest exports and it
produces around 50 tonnes of gold annually.
($1 = 587.75 CFA francs)
(Reporting By Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by