Burkina Faso said it has more gold waiting to be discovered as the nation where output jumped more than 20 times in a decade reviews its geological records.
The government wants to help companies that are already operating in the West African nation to lengthen the lives of their mines and make it easier for new investors to get information about deposits, Mining Minister Alfa Omar Dissa said last week in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou.
“We’ve reviewed the eastern region, the west and the south and we found some very interesting information,” he said. Deposits previously unknown include “gold, lithium, nickel and a bit of uranium, even traces of oil,” he said.
The country has seen a gold rush in recent years because of the high grades found in some deposits, which hold as much as 17 grams (0.56 ounce) per metric ton, compared with the global average of 1.5 grams, Dissa said. Output in the landlocked nation is forecast to reach almost 49 tons of gold this year, from 2.3 tons in 2007, with Canadian companies Iamgold Corp. and Semafo Inc. among the biggest producers.
Reaching the forecast will make it the continent’s biggest-producing country behind South Africa, Ghana and Mali. The expansion of gold mining and the start of production at what may be one of the world’s largest manganese mines will push Burkina Faso’s economic growth to an average of 6 percent from 2017 to 2019, the International Monetary Fund said in a June report.
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