The Republic of Mali is a landlocked West African country, located Southwest of Algeria. It is one of the poorest countries in the world with an annual GDP of approximately £2.5 billion in 2005. Agricultural products and gold are its major exports and over the last decade it has been Africa's third largest gold producer with annual output ranging between 36 and 60 metric tonnes. Once mined, the ore is typically 'roasted' to help concentrate the gold contained in the rock. This is the case at the Syami Gold Mine where in 2012, the top 22M of the chimney was so severely corroded it collapse but fortunately damage was minimal and the plant was kept running. Following an inspection by Michael Beaumont of Beaumont Specialist Contracting (BSC) it was determined that the plant could continue to run as long as major remedial works were undertaken but replacement would be necessary within twelve months.
BSC contracted JE for the manufacture of the 76M self-supporting replacement chimney. The design took into account the customer's requirement that it be capable of extension to 100M if guys were fitted. The chimney was built in sections, not only to facilitate shipping but also to ensure the locally available craneage would be up to the task. Even with this consideration, the main 300T erection crane had to be driven in from neighboring Burkina Faso, a distance of some five hundred miles over roads that proved challenging at times. Despite the distance involved and the limitations of the local infrastructure, the chimney arrived after an eight week voyage and was successfully installed at the end of July 2013.