Burkina Faso

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Burkina Faso ASM Profile

Political Economy & Strategic Standpoints | Social and Environmental Factors | Local linkages | ASM Sites in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso has significant deposits of gold, zinc, manganese, lead, silver and phosphates.
Gold has now become Burkina Faso’s number one export commodity, with at least 600 ASM sites found throughout the country.

Burkina Faso accounts for 21% of West Africa’s total greenstone belt exposure and is the continent 4th largest gold producer. However the country is largely underexplored. It is the country with the greatest untested potential in West Africa despite the fact that mining is not new in Burkina Faso. There has been over 50 years of interest in mining in Burkina Faso, with Poura mine (in the country’s southwest), being the first industrial gold mine that has produced over 25t of gold. Similarly, artisanal gold mining has been practiced in the region for centuries, going back to the time when this part of Africa was known as the “Gold Coast”. Traditional mining essentially involved gold production.

From 1986-1997, Burkina Faso produced over 26 tons of pure gold including 13.93 tons from Large Scale Mining (the Poura and Essakane sites) and 12.26 tons from artisanal mining. In 2010 the quantity of exported gold reached 12,5 tons in 2009 and 23,5 tons in 2010 (Burkina Faso Chamber of Mines, 2017). However, these figures might be underestimated since part of the production may have been purchased outside the official system. It is noteworthy that gold production in Burkina has fallen considerably from its peak in 1990’s. This is mainly due to the fact that smuggling resulted in the actual price paid to artisanal miners being lower than the international price. There has also been an overall fall in the international price of gold during this time.

Country Mining Vision Status

CMV Processes Underway.

Policies, Laws and Regulations Currently in Effect

Mining Code, 2015

ASM Associations or Cooperatives

I. AFEMIB: Association of Women in the Mining Sector of Burkina Faso

II. WIMOWA: Women in Mining of West Africa

ASM Definition Criterion

Mechanization; Category of minerals (gold, diamonds and other gems); operation depth; Geological data; Production Levels;

ASM Licensing

Artisanal: NO

Small Scale Mining: YES

ASM Minerals or Metals Exploited

Precious Metals Gold

Base Metals Zinc, Manganese, Nickel, copper

Precious Stones

Development Minerals Diamonds (Sanmatenga and Comoé)


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Mining Code Provisions for Women in ASM

2015 Mining Code

Section 1, Article 7 on general regimes
Section 2, Article 71 on Artisanal Mining authorization
Section 3, Article 102 on the Rights and Obligations linked to Mining titles

Law No. 029-2008/AN on the Fight Against Trafficking of Persons and Similar Practices

Issue: Promotion of Women Participation and Prohibition of Child Labour in Mining Activities

Policy Objective:

To encourage and promote women participation in mining activities and strengthen enforcement of laws and regulations against child labour and environmental degradtion in mining activities.

Policy Statement:

I. The Government will ensure that all programmes related to mining, including education and training opportunities, are based on gender equality and equity;

II. The government will strengthen policy on environmental protection and support formalization; and

III. The Government will ensure better consumption and production in the mining sector.

Engagement of children in mining activities is prohibited by law. Mining activities, particularly small-scale mining are prone to the use of child labour which causes social problems to children. Children working in the mines are exposed to the harsh mining conditions, which affect their wellbeing and cause them to miss education opportunities. The Government in collaboration with civil societies and other stakeholders needs to improve education and awareness to small scale mining communities on the effect of child labour and enforcing the law against the use of child labour.
Environmental impacts play an important role in Mining policy, better management of mining chemicals could result in 0.35 per cent increase in Burkina Faso’s Gross Domestic Product and improve the health of 850,000 people (PEI Burkina, 2011 & 2013). Additional benefits can be gained by including communities in any negotiations on mining concessions as well as experts on the environment, gender and social equity. These and other findings helped to influence parliamentarians to open an inquiry into mining titles and the social responsibility of mining companies.

Finance and credit

A mining fund was generated for local development and community development. Efforts to promote linkages between the banks and financial institutions and ASM have been encouraged by the government. Any mining permit owner is obliged to open an account at the Central Bank of West African States or at a commercial bank in Burkina-Faso. This will serve to the creation of an environment rehabilitation fund.

Extension services - a phased approach to integration and capacity-building

The government created a fund for geological and mining research and support and training on earth sciences.
Holders of mining titles in the research phase benefit from the exemption from value added tax in the course of their mining research operations, this is applicable to imported machinery, vehicles, equipment, GIS services, training, patents and income tax. However, this is only applicable on imported items which do not have their equivalent in Burkina-Faso, this measure encourages linkages and supports local content initiatives.

Marketing and quality

Burkina Faso is one of the Francophone West African countries implementing the Fairmined standard mechanism. The standard includes requirements for ASM organisations to operate in a responsible way; formal and legal mining operations; environmental protection; labour conditions; traceability of Fairmined minerals; and socio‐economic development through the Fair mined Premium. It also outlines market models and requirements for market actors (Fairmined Operators).

In Burkina Faso, the AGC will help to develop new financial tools that will give miners more financial inclusion by allowing them to sell gold more directly to the domestic and international market. The project will also help improve and develop policy tools and local capacities to manage mercury use enabling the sector to become more sustainable and environmentally conscious.

Child labor is illegal in Burkina Faso but it is estimated that 30 to 50 percent of small-scale miners are children (ILO, 2015). The U.S. Department of Labor also is funding $5 million four-year project in Burkina Faso to tackle the issue of child labor in cotton farming and gold mining.