Mali has set its gold production target for 2010 at 52.4t, which will help the country earn $277m (CFA130bn) during the year, a Ministry of Mines official said.

Mines and Geology Department deputy head Waly Diawara said the estimated production for next year is a small increase compared with the 49.5t that will have been produced by the end of this year, according to Reuters.

For Mali, Africa’s third largest gold miner, gold constitutes 15% of its gross domestic product and nearly 70% of its exports.

In 2008, Mali’s revenues from gold totalled $214m.

In a bid to enhance accountability in its mining sector, the country has joined the Extractative Industries Transparency Initiative.