Burkina Faso expects record 55 tonnes of gold in 2018 – minister – by Tim Cocks and Ange Aboa (Reuters Africa – February 16, 2018)

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OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – Burkina Faso expects to produce a record 55 tonnes of gold in 2018, a two-thirds increase on five years ago, as new projects in the landlocked West African country come on tap, the mines minister told Reuters in an interview.

Speaking in his office in the capital Ouagadougou late on Thursday, Oumarou Idani said gold production had hit 45.5 tonnes last year. That puts it ahead of Tanzania as Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer — after South Africa and Burkina Faso’s neighbours Ghana and Mali.

The forecast for this year represents a 20 percent increase on 2017, and at current levels would put its industrial production on a par with No.3 producer Mali.

“There is gold everywhere in Burkina Faso, in every region,” Idani said. “With this strong potential, naturally it is attracting investment.” A decade ago Burkina Faso was better known for the cotton it grows than the gold it mines, but since then a gold rush has transformed it into one of Africa’s hottest destinations for frontier mining.

In 2008 it poured just 5.5 tonnes of gold from two large-scale projects; in 2013, that figure had increased fivefold to 33 tonnes. The 2018 projection would mark a tenfold increase in industrial production on a decade earlier.

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