Skip to content

Insecurity Threatens Gold Mining in Burkina Faso

Terror attacks on gold mining operations in Burkina Faso are becoming a regular occurrence. Burkina Faso is the fastest growing producer of gold in Africa. While informal mining is estimated to employ and indirectly support about 3 million people, large-scale commercial mining by foreign companies brought in $300 million of revenue for the government in 2018. But as groups linked to Islamic State, al-Qaida and bandits have stepped up attacks on miners, extracting gold is seen as increasingly dangerous. Since August, there have been two attacks on convoys belonging to iamgold, a company headquartered in Canada, and another one on a convoy owned by Endeavour Mining, headquartered in the Cayman Islands. The attacks left six dead. In recent weeks, mining companies in Burkina Faso have begun transporting local employees to mines by air instead of by road. Previously, only foreign staff flew to the mines. But some logistics still must be done by road.