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IAMGOLD halts transport to and from Burkina Faso mine after attack

Essakane gold mine, Burkina Faso. (Image courtesy of IAMGOLD)

Canada’s IAMGOLD (TSX: IMG)(NYSE: IAG) has suspended convoys to and from its Essakane gold mine in Burkina Faso near the border with Niger, after gunmen attacked a convoy travelling to the operation on Tuesday. 

The company said no passengers were hurt. One police officer was injured while the convoy’s security repelled the gunfire, but is in stable condition, the Toronto-based miner said. 

Militant violence in Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali has increased in recent years despite the presence of the United Nations and interventions by regional and Western troops. 

Canada’s Endeavour Mining (TSX: EDV), West Africa’s top gold producer, has also been the subject of attacks in Burkina Faso. Its Boungou mine, previously owned by Semafo, was ambushed in 2019 resulting in 37 deaths and over 60 people injured. 

The same year, Canadian geologist Kirk Woodman was kidnapped and killed. His body was found in rural Burkina Faso. He was the ninth Canadian killed in the West African country since 2016. 

Essakane is IAMGOLD’s flagship mine, in production since 2010. The company recently revised production guidance for the asset to between 390,000 and 400,000 ounces of gold from the 365,000 to 390,000 ounces previously expected.