Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

Cotton and gold are Burkina Faso’s key exports - gold has accounted for about three-quarters of the country’s total export revenues. Burkina Faso’s economic growth and revenue depends largely on production levels and global prices for the two commodities. The Burkinabe economy experienced high levels of growth over the last few years, and the country has seen an upswing in gold exploration, production, and exports.

Real GDP growth was estimated at 6.7% in 2017, up from 5.9% in 2016, due to gains in mining, higher investment in construction, a healthy commercial sector, and improvements in agriculture. The economy is projected to grow 6.6% in 2018, bolstered by a public investment program in the 2016–20 National Economic and Social Development Plan that covers energy, hydro-agricultural development, and road and telecommunications infrastructure. Higher prices for gold and cotton are also expected to boost economic performance.

The mining sector in Burkina Faso is considered one of the most dynamic in West Africa. The development of the mining sector was made possible through intensified investment, the opening of industrial mines and an evolution of the legal and regulatory framework for the sector. The main resources are gold, zinc, copper, manganese, phosphate and limestone. Traces of diamonds, bauxite, nickel and vanadium have been recorded in various geological formations. However, gold remains the most exploited ore in Burkina Faso. According to data provided by the General Directorate for Mines and Geology and the Cadastre (DGMGC), the total industrial production of refined gold for 2015 was 36.17 tonnes. Based on mining companies’ declarations, gold production at the end of 2015 amounted to 35.1 tonnes of refined gold at a valued of USD 1,419 million. Zinc production amounted to 134 643 tonnes in 2015. The value of zinc production was USD 54.5 million. No manganese production was recorded during the period 1 January to 31 December 2015 A parliamentary inquiry into the mining sector published in 2016 included a review of the artisanal exploitation of gold, and in particular, informal production (p. 70).17 According to the results of the survey, production from informal gold mining was estimated to be between 15 and 30 tonnes per year for the period 2006-2015, with a shortfall in tax revenue for the State estimated at USD 182.4 million. The country’s main exploration projects include Essakane (gold), Mana (gold), Inata (gold), Taparko (gold), Youga (gold), Bissa (gold) and Perkoa (zinc and iron-silver). There were 5 projects under construction as at 31 December 2017 notably Tambao manganese, Seguenega gold, Narissiguima gold, Niaka Nogbele gold and Bagassi Balé. Burkina Faso has rich deposits of gold, zinc, copper, manganese as well as iron, nickel, limestone, dolomite and phosphates. Abundant mineral resources are found along an arc from the country’s southeast to northwest. Gold reserves have grown rapidly in the past decade, with over 15 major discoveries since 2006.

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