Burkina Faso-focused miners say operations have not been affected following a second coup d’état on September 30 that saw the country’s president Lt.-Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba overthrown after only nine months in power.
While local mining operators face growing security, logistical and financing issues, they appear to remain bullish on the jurisdiction, with no announcements emerging of reduced exploration and mine development budgets to date.
Burkina Faso is Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer, and gold makes up a significant part of its GDP and national exports.
The change of leadership appears to have its roots in a disagreement within the Burkina Faso military on security issues in the north and east of the country, areas which have been hard-hit by Islamic-associated terrorist insurgencies in recent years.
The nation’s new military leader, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, said on Oct. 2 that the country was facing an emergency in every sector, “from security to defence, to health, to social action, to infrastructure,” and it was time for the government to “abandon the unnecessary red tape.”
An analyst with global risk consultancy Control Risks says that, at first glance, the development is unlikely to directly impact the mining sector from a regulatory perspective. The current leadership has gone so far as to say no additional constraints will be placed on the mining sector, given its economic importance.
“The succession of coups in Burkina Faso, and more broadly persistent discontent in the armed forces, is driven by worsening militancy and repeated failure of successive governments to improve security,” said analyst Tristan Gueret in response to emailed questions.
Since 2015 Islamist militants have made significant gains across the country, expanding their influence in rural areas and carrying out frequent and deadly attacks against civilians and security forces.