South Africa’s Randgold Resources announced it will donate another 60 mt of rice to Red Cross workers for distribution in northern Mali after reports of major food shortages in the militarily destabilized region.
Purchased in the capital of Bamako, the rice will be transported by the company under Red Cross supervision with priority for Gao, Kibal and Timbuktu. Randgold will pay for all expenses; violence sparked a refugee crisis following an influx of weapons from Libya after the fall of Col. Muammar Qaddafi mixed with Algerian insurgent activity. This is the latest in a series of humanitarian initiatives by Randgold, one of the top miners in a Francophone nation that also possesses Africa’s third-largest gold reserves after Ghana and South Africa.
Last year, Randgold similarly donated 40 mt of rice and 20 mt of millet to the Red Cross raised by CEO Mark Bristow’s 2010 trans-African motorcycle safari trip; the journey was sponsored by Randgold and service providers and suppliers. Randgold has further coordinated a $3.15 million funding donation from Mali’s mining industry to Interim President Dioncounda Traoré for more humanitarian supplies. In all, Mali’s miners have also donated $735,000 to avoid interruption of a drug administration program fighting diseases endemic to the area.
Randgold officials have also met with UN World Food Program representatives to explore possible cooperation between their on-going regional food security project and Randgold’s Malian mine agribusinesses.