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Gold round of Mali to feature hummingbird

 The metal for gold Hummingbird medals being marketed as coins originates in Mali.

The metal for gold Hummingbird medals being marketed as coins originates in Mali.

A gold bullion issue featuring a hummingbird is being planned by mining concerns in the African nation of Mali.

Why the hummingbird? No explanation was given, other than the company’s name is Hummingbird Resources PLC. It was founded in 2005 by Daniel Betts of Stephen Betts and Sons Ltd. Previously, Daniel Betts established natural resource-based businesses in Mauritania, Namibia, Peru, Sierra Leone and Uganda. The Betts’ refinery company has been a closely held family business since 1760.

Mali has at least 622 bird species, including parrots, canaries, and eagles in addition to hummingbirds.

Mali is governed by a president who chairs a council of ministers and is elected to a maximum of two five-year terms. Slavery exists in Mali, with an estimated 200,000 people held in such servitude. The 2012 Tuareg Rebellion ended with slaves being recaptured by their masters.

Nothing was able to be confirmed at the time this article was being written on Hummingbird Resources’ method of mining Mali’s gold. But the company has stated, “…for every ounce of gold Hummingbird produces from Yanfolila the company will be investing in its community-based projects across West Africa.”

Hummingbird will use its Yanfolila Gold Mine as the sole source for its one-ounce Hummingbirds. A collection of seven rounds is planned for 2018. The hummingbird will appear as the common obverse design element. The reverse of these will depict Musa I of Mali, or an image relating to one of the company values of exploration, development, mining, production, community, and conservation. Hummingbird has stated the company will pay 98 percent of whatever the current spot price may be when it re-purchases any of its Hummingbird products. No information was immediately available on the markup above spot at which Hummingbird will sell its gold.

It isn’t clear if Mali will recognize the Hummingbird gold pieces as coins. Mali is an impoverished nation that uses 1-, 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, 100-, 200-, 5000-, and 1,000-franc West African State base metal composition coins as well as Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest 500- 1,000- 2,000-, 5,000-, and 10,000-franc bank notes.

Hummingbird Resources signed an agreement with Société des Mines de Komana in February 2017 through which it gained mining permits that made the Yanfolila gold project possible. The Mali government owns a 10 percent free carry interest in Yanfolila and a 20 percent stake in the project.

This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.

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