Gold Mining and Exploration
Burkina Faso is located between Ghana and Mali, the second and third largest gold producing countries on the continent. The country’s economy depends to a large degree on the price of gold on the international market. In 2013, when the price of gold fell, the country’s real growth was 6.9 percent, down from the previous year’s 9 percent. With gold mining the largest and most impactful industry in the country, the government is making infrastructure improvements on buildings and roads to support mining. Major roads are being paved, while others are being formally created in order to make further development possible.
The country is underlain by rocks of the same age and history as neighbouring countries, yet it is relatively under-explored compared to its neighbours. The country is pro-mining and has a favorable foreign investment stance.
Currently the country is the fastest growing gold producer in Africa. It is ranked 4th in the continent in the Current Mineral Potential Index in the “Survey of Mining Companies 2014” conducted by The Fraser Institute of Canada. Since 2013, there have been seven new gold mines put into production. Other mining resources include manganese, bauxite, copper, nickel, lead, zinc, and limestone/marble.
The Greenstone Belts Showing Nine Producing Gold Mines
The country has excellent geological potential. The Greenstone Belts that host all of the major deposits in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire continue northward into Burkina Faso. Some of the world’s most productive mines are located in West African greenstone belts. These belts cover approximately 3,000,000 km², making the area’s exploration potential enormous. Burkina Faso currently accounts for 21% of West Africa’s greenstone belt exposure. The country has undergone less than 15 years of modern mineral exploration, remaining under explored in comparison to neighbouring Ghana and Mali; both of which host world class gold mines in the same belts of Birimian rocks.
Examples of successful gold operations in Burkina Faso include:
Avocet Mining PLC (AVM.L) is a focused West African gold mining and exploration company with its primary operations in Burkina Faso and Guinea. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Oslo Børs. Their Inata gold mine in Burkina Faso, which is located adjacent to Parallel Mining’s Garsay Project, produced 74,755 ounces gold produced in 2015.
Endeavour Mining (TSX:EDV), a company that operates over much of West Africa, has a producing mine at the Youga project. Youga has been producing since 2008, and yielded 89,448 ounces of gold in 2013. Endeavour is investigating the possibility of trucking material from the nearby Ouare deposit, 40 kilometers away, to the Youga plant to add three more years to the total life of the mine.
Roxgold (TSXV:ROG) operates the Yaramoko project in Burkina Faso. The project is situated in the southwestern part of the country in the province of Balé. Yaramoko is within the Hounde greenstone belt where other gold projects are located. Roxgold has begun pouring gold at their newly built Yaramoko mine and will commence commercial production in 2016.