In the last decade Mali has experienced a gold boom. Today Mali is Africa's third largest producer of gold and has one of the world's most gold-dependent economies. This study looks at how the advent of gold mining has affected Mali's economy and society, and examines the local impacts of two of the country's main gold mines, Sadiola and Morila. It finds that in recent years gold exports have contributed more than half of Mali's export revenue. Still, this income represents less than what the country receives in development aid or in remittances from Malians abroad. From the two mines of Sadiola and Morila, out of the revenue that does not accrue to the mining companies the Government of Mali receives around 90 percent, the workers some nine percent and local communities less than one percent. To the population of nearby villages the mines have provided jobs, income and better education services, but their establishment has also led to land expropriation, environmental degradation and social tensions. The companies that run the two mines have supported a number of development projects locally, but their management and selection of the projects have stirred controversy. The study also finds that gold mining only to a limited extent has spurred entrepreneurship or a diversification of the local economy.