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Burkina Faso gold output drops

Recent data reveals a decline in gold production within Burkina Faso over the past year. The Ministry of Mines, Quarries, and Energy disclosed a 1.5% decrease in gold output for 2023, reaching a total of 57.3 tonnes, marking a notable downturn.

In 2022, Burkina Faso ranked as the world’s 14th largest gold producer, experiencing a 7% increase in production compared to the previous year.

However, the region faced severe challenges in the subsequent year due to political instability. A terrorist insurgency gripping the Sahel region exacerbated an already fragile political and business environment, further strained by two military coups in 2022.

The instability led to the closure of six mining companies in 2022, with an additional closure in 2023. This tumultuous environment has negatively impacted Burkina Faso’s gold industry, with significant repercussions extending into 2024.

One of the country’s prominent mining companies, Endevour Mining, faced considerable setbacks. Allegations of improper business conduct prompted the ousting of its global CEO. Furthermore, a strike at its Hounde Gold mine, though swiftly resolved, caused a production halt. Tragically, a worker lost their life at another Endevour site, the Mana gold mine, in recent weeks.

Brahim Kéré, the director of forecasting and macroeconomic analysis at the ministry, highlighted the challenges faced in 2023, stating, “Terrorist attacks have resulted in the closure of certain sites and difficulties in supplying certain mines with fuel and other materials, leading to mixed economic and social consequences.”

In late February, Burkina Faso’s military junta implemented a temporary halt on the approval of export permits for small-scale producers of gold and other precious commodities. This move aimed to enhance the organization of precious substance marketing. While the duration of this halt remains unspecified, it is anticipated to impact gold production figures for 2024.

 

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