Burkina Faso closes more than 40 gold mines for security reasons.

On February 27, 2023, Burkina Faso closed 43 artisanal gold mines. According to a decree issued by the authorities in the Boucle du Mouhoun region in the northwest of the country, this drastic measure was taken for security reasons. The closure concerns 43 artisanal gold mining sites spread over 13 communes. These mines will therefore remain closed until further notice, the decree states.

According to a security source contacted by AFP, "This responds to the need to limit or even reduce to zero the traffic of explosives on these artisanal sites which are very often diverted to armed terrorist groups.

Criminal sanctions

After making this decision, the Governor of the Boucle du Mouhoun region, Babo Pierre Bassinga, said that anyone who contravenes the provisions of the decree would be subject to criminal sanctions. The Boucle du Mouhoun region is located on the border with Mali. In recent years, it has been hit by jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Burkina Faso is one of the largest gold producing countries in West Africa with 70 tons of production per year. Artisanal mining alone produces 10 tons of gold per year.

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