The government of Burkina Faso has granted the Russian company Nordgold SA a licence to operate a new gold mine at Yimiougou, in the commune of Korsimoro, Sanmatenga province. The announcement was made at the end of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday 7 December.
“Under the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Quarries, the Council adopted a decree granting the exploitation permit of the industrial gold mine of Yimiougou to the company Yimiougou NORDGOLD SA,” says the communiqué of the Council of Ministers of Wednesday 7 December 2022.
Indeed, in Burkina, gold is a driving force in the local economy, accounting for over 16% of GDP and 80% of exports. The Russian group Nordgold, through its two subsidiaries, Société des Mines de Taparko (Somita) and Bissa Gold, already operates three deposits in the north of the country.
Scheduled to last four years, the Yimiougou deposit covers an area of 31.44 km2 with total production estimated at 2.53 tonnes of gold. This production will bring in CFAF 5.35 billion ($8.57 million) for the state budget over the period. A portion of the revenues generated by the mine will also be paid into the local development mining fund, a contribution currently valued at 648 million FCFA ($1.03 million), the statement said.
In addition, the council gave instructions to take action on certain issues that can enable Burkina Faso to benefit from its mining resources, including the review of the mining code and the establishment of a refinery project to refine gold in Burkina in order to know exactly the gold content in Burkina and what industrial companies are exploiting in terms of volume of gold in the country, said the minister in charge of mines, Simon Pierre Boussim
Burkina Faso has become the largest gold exporting country in Africa since 2009, overtaking Africa’s largest gold producers like South Africa, Ghana and Mali. Nevertheless, Burkina Faso’s mining sector, with 17 operating mines, has faced constant security challenges imposed by armed terrorist groups since 2015, forcing at least three companies to close.