managed decline

Burkina Faso: Gold boom vanishes as militants advance and Russians leave

By Reuters

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Posted on November 28, 2022 09:26

 The Burkinabe army, on the road to Gorgadji, 3 March 2019. © Luc Gnago/REUTERS
The Burkinabe army, on the road to Gorgadji, 3 March 2019. © Luc Gnago/REUTERS

Burkina Faso’s gold industry is set to decline, says the CEO of West African Resources. Boukary Diallo has attributed the downfall to militant attacks that have intensified this year as well as Russia’s Nordgold shutting the Taparko mine in April.

A gold mining boom in Burkina Faso over the last decade propelled Diallo from being a vendor on a market stall to running a meat business supplying a mine near Ouahigouya, his home town in the north of the country.

But as the West African country loses territory to Islamist militants and lurches from coup to coup, threatening to turn the boom to bust, Diallo is concerned he will be unable to retain all of his 10 employees.

“Things are getting tight,” Diallo, 42, told Reuters by phone. “If the mine doesn’t start up again in December, I will have to let some people go.”

Karma mine, which Diallo supplies, was closed in June after a militant attack that left one worker and one soldier dead.

Acquired by Burkina-based firm Néré Mining from Endeavour Mining in March, Karma is one of at least four gold mines that halted production this year because of security risks.

Russia’s Nordgold in April

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