Dinguiraye: immersion in the town’s mining sphere with the Prefectural Director of Mines and Geology

Coveted for its rich and varied subsoil in terms of minerals, notably gold, the Dinguiraye basin is based on two major mining zones, essentially artisanal: the rural communes of Diatifèrè and Banora. The urban commune, in the making, is set to be added to the previous two. To find out more, we met with the Prefectural Director of Mines and Geology for Dinguiraye. Amadou Ousmane Tounkara, received us on Monday November 6th at his office in the urban commune.

"Dinguiraye's gold-panning zones are little exploited by industrial companies. Of the dozen or so companies with permits, only half comply with regulatory standards, and only two are visible, namely SMD (Société Minière de Dinguiraye), based on the outskirts of Banora, and OASIS MINING SA, which plans to set up by the end of 2024 in the vicinity of the urban commune of Firibowè, in the Ballagnoumaya district", says the Director.

According to him, "Dinguiraye has not reached the level of the country's other gold-mining localities currently being exploited. However, a very large part of its reserves have yet to be exploited. Other precious stones and minerals exist in the locality, but are little-known. Today, our wish is for industrialists to set up here, because that's what's profitable for the population, to reduce the high unemployment rate in Dinguiraye", explains the local mining boss.

Almost up to the task as regards to environmental responsibility

He also pointed out that the 10% of profits from mining operations, as outlined in the joint decree, are allocated to the priority needs of the localities affected.
That's why, during the recent reforestation campaigns, 5 hectares were allocated to each zone, and follow-up for each action was defined; a way of demonstrating the good relationship that exists between his department and that of the environment.

Ongoing conflict management

When asked how he deals with disputes and landslides, Amadou Ousmane Tounkara, Prefectural Director of Mines and Geology for Dinguiraye, replies: "Resolving land disputes is not one of my prerogatives, but we do at least work to delimit environmental impacts. As far as landslides are concerned, I am always informed through my volunteer representatives, and in turn I pass on the information to the relevant authorities for appropriate action.

In addition, he denounced the inadequate habit of certain gold-panning structures vis-à-vis his department, as well as the lack of qualified personnel to supervise the various active artisanal sites in the locality.

The DPMG of Dinguiraye, very concerned about the well-being of the communities impacted by mining on a day-to-day basis, urges all industrialists operating in his jurisdiction to invest more in the construction of road infrastructure to connect the various towns in the prefecture.