Economic & Industrial

Gold output falls in Burkina Faso as terrorist attacks increase

Gold output falls in Burkina Faso as terrorist attacks increase
Gold production in Burkina Faso declined last year as deteriorating security conditions in the West African nation forced some mines to shut.

An Islamist insurgency in the Sahel, a semi-arid region stretching across the continent from Senegal to Sudan, has hit hard in Burkina Faso, which also suffered two military coups in 2022. The country — ruled by Captain Ibrahim Traore for the past 18 months — accounted for almost a quarter of people killed in terrorist attacks globally last year, according to Sydney-based Institute for Economics & Peace.

Six mining companies closed down in 2022, while one more ceased activity last year. Output of the precious metal fell 1.5% to 57.3 tons in 2023, the Ministry of Mines, Quarries and Energy said.

“2023 was a very difficult year in terms of security, with mixed economic and social consequences,” Brahim Kéré, director of forecasting and macroeconomic analysis at the ministry said in an interview. “In the gold sector, terrorist attacks have resulted in the closure of certain sites and difficulties in supplying certain mines with fuel and other materials.”

Burkina Faso last year revised its mining code to enable it receive more in royalties during boom times. The country, also suspended mineral exports by small-scale miners last month.

The companies still operating in the country include West African Resources Ltd., Endeavour Mining Plc and Iamgold Corp.

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