The Loulo mine is located in the west of Mali, bordering Senegal and adjacent to the Falémé River. It is situated 350 kilometres west of Bamako and 220 kilometres south of Kayes.
The Loulo mine (Loulo) lies within the Kedougou-Kenieba inlier of Birimian rocks which hosts several major gold deposits in Mali, namely Gara, Yalea, Sadiola, Ségala and Tabakoto as well as Sabodala, across the border in Senegal. The exploitation permit covers an area of approximately 372km².
Owned by Randgold (80%) and the State of Mali (20%), the mine comprises three open pits, Yalea, Gara and Loulo 3, and two underground operations, Gara and Yalea. The open pit operations are mined by contractors. Following the termination due to poor health, safety and environmental performance of the former underground contractor at the end of 2009, African Underground Mining Services Mali SARL (AUMS) has been contracted for the underground development of Gara and recently joined Randgold in the further development of the Yalea underground mine with the commencement of another decline from the base of the Yalea pit.