Burkina Faso suspends the export of artisanal gold production

Burkina Faso suspends the export of artisanal gold production

Objective according to the authorities: “ better organize the sector ” and one ” need for sanitation “. The country’s gold production is one of the primary sources of state revenue and the leading export product. Ten tonnes of gold would come from artisanal mines each year and 57.6 tonnes produced on industrial sites in 2022.

2 mins

In a press release dated February 20, the Minister of Mines of Burkina Faso Yacouba Zabré Gouba announces the suspension of the export of gold and other precious substances from artisanal production. Improving state revenues, supplying its future refinery, or even financing security in the country, here are several reasons which could explain this measure, according to an international analyst. But for a local professional in the sector, the first would be to rationalize this activity in order to limit security risks. Illegal gold mining contributes to the finances of terrorist activities in the Sahel, a report from the United Nations office on drugs and crime recently documented.

The authorities’ announcement, however, ” surprised ”, even created a certain “ panic » among professionals in the sector this Wednesday, confided several witnesses. But it is not the producers already legally established and officially selling to the counters who are targeted, assures this professional, who recalls that such a practice is not new. In the 1990s, gold production was already regulated by public structures upstream and downstream before the sector was liberalized.

Until further notice, players who have gold to export will have to sell it directly to the National Society of Precious Substances. However, questions still surround the application of this new regulation: how will collection be done? Will the purchase be made at market price, within a reasonable time frame? Will cash be available? And what about the sales contracts already signed with foreign companies?

Read alsoBurkina-Faso: gold, a lifeline for the country’s economy