Burkina Faso grants mining permit to Nordgold

The Government of Burkina Faso granted a gold mining permit to Nordgold, a Russian company despite ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

The country’s mine minister Simon-Pierre Boussim explained that the permit was granted due to their eligibility, repudiating western criticism that the ruling party is attempting to draw ties with Moscow.

“We do not give permits to people because they are from Russia, or from the United States. We give permits to companies that pay taxes and respect our laws,” said Simon-Pierre Boussim, Minister of Energy, Mines and Quarries of Burkina Faso.

Gold mining

Nordgold runs the Bissa and Bouly mines in the north of the West African country. Additionally, it owns and operates the Taparko mine, which has been shut down since April due to security concerns. Nordgold applied for a mining permit for Yimiougou in 2017, according to Boussim. The mine is in the Centre-Nord region’s Sanmatenga province. Additionally, the company expects the mine to yield 2.53 tonnes over its four-year lifespan. The mine aims to start production later this year.

Gold mining often plays a significant role in Burkina Faso’s economy. The country has become Africa’s 4th biggest producer of gold in 2012. Production of mineral commodities is limited to cement, dolomite, gold, granite, marble, phosphate rock, pumice, other volcanic materials, and salt. Artisanal and small-scale mining is the primary source of income for a large part of the country’s population, with over 430,000 people directly employed at more than 440 mine sites.

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