Two Trevali managers arrested in Burkina Faso over Perkoa mine flood — reports

Burkina Faso Prime Minister Albert Ouédraogo visits the Perkoa mine. Credit: Primature du Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso news sources report that two Trevali Mining (TSX: TV) managers were arrested in the country due to the tragic flooding at the Perkoa zinc mine that trapped and killed eight miners underground.

Newswire Anadolu Agency reported on August 17 that two people, including the general manager of the Perkoa underground mine in the center-west of the country, were arrested. The two managers had appeared before the Koudougou High Court and were remanded in custody pending a trial scheduled for Aug. 24, reported the state daily ‘Sidwaya.’

It is unclear what charges the Trevali employees stand trial for.

The Northern Miner reached out to Trevali for comment but had not received a response by press time.

On April 16, heavy rains outside the usual rainy season poured about 125 mm of rain in less than an hour, triggering flash floods that breached the open pit at Perkoa, located about 120 km west of the capital of Ouagadougou. 

The company states on its website that it is working closely with Burkinabe authorities to investigate the cause of the flooding.

Mining and milling operations at Perkoa remain suspended for the foreseeable future, and the company has suspended its production and cost guidance for 2022 for the operation.

In a statement on social media on May 17, the Burkina Faso government confirmed that the rescue teams had found the refugee chamber empty. The eight miners had failed to reach the mine’s refuge chamber more than 500 metres below the surface.