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Burkina Faso: Government starts setting up modern gold treatment centers for artisanal miners

Friday, 22 March 2024 17:06
Burkina Faso: Government starts setting up modern gold treatment centers for artisanal miners

(Ecofin Agency) - Due to the processing methods used by local small-scale gold miners, artisanal mining threatens the environment in Burkina Faso. The government has decided to provide cooperatives with modern equipment to address this issue and better regulate this activity.

Burkina Faso now has its first shared ore treatment center. The Minister of Energy, Mines, and Quarries, Yacouba Zabré Gouba, chaired the facility’s inauguration on March 18. Around 2,000 artisanal miners will work at the newly-launched center.

The government plans to set up nine more centers after this one. Located in the Méguet municipality, the new facility has a crusher, a grinder, a concentrator, and a shaking table to separate gold from residues. Its output will be sold to the National Company of Precious Substances (Société Nationale des Substances Précieuses or SONASP).

The country’s first shared ore treatment center is NONG-TAABA, a local cooperative, and supervised by the Ministry of Mines.

The launch aligns with the government’s ambition to formalize and structure artisanal and small-scale gold mining in the country. These activities do not comply with environmental standards and contribute to land and water pollution.

"I urge all artisanal mining organizations, the primary beneficiaries of this facility, to prioritize its use for ore processing and to help us in our efforts to formalize and organize mining sites," said Minister Yacouba Zabré Gouba.

Setting up shared ore processing centers also aligns with the local transformation strategy currently being implemented in various sectors of the national economy, particularly in mining. Last year, the government kicked off the construction of the country's first gold refinery. The facility, which should start operations by the end of this year, should produce 150 tons of gold per year. The country also launched its first mine waste treatment plant last January.

Burkina Faso is one of the leading gold producers in Africa. Gold mining accounts for 14% of GDP and 80% of exports.

Emiliano Tossou



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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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