An Australian company Baraka Mali Ventures Ltd has been awarded 5 large onshore exploration permits in Mali. The area of the permits reaches from the Algerian border in the east to Mauritania in the West lying in the western/central Sahara. The Company is owned by Australian entrepeneur Max de Vietri (maybe we should note that name for future reference). He was involved with establishing another oil exploration outfit in Mauritania in the mid 1990s and which led to the first oil discoveries there. Baraka will be investing some $51 million over 4 years and will spend $1 million training local Malians and "promoting the countey as an exploration destinatin foer the world petroleum industry.
If Mali goes the way of all other oil producing countries ( and there is no reason as yet to think otherwise) then all does not bode well for Mali or at least not for the masses and certainly not for the people of the Sahara, so we will see how this one develops.