The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.
ESSAKANE, BURKINA FASO – This is a dangerous land. Just across the border are the Sahara wastes where Islamist terrorists and separatist rebels roam free. Inside the country are gangs of bandits and the occasional violent riot by drunken soldiers.
Yet it’s also a land where Canadian miners are eagerly investing hundreds of millions of dollars. The gold belt of northern Burkina Faso, like other regions of West Africa, has emerged as a new favourite haunt for Canadian mining companies, despite a vast array of security risks.
Less than four years after its arrival, Toronto-based Iamgold Corp. (IMG-T12.55-0.13-1.03%) has become the biggest private employer in Burkina Faso with 2,200 employees. It plans to invest a further $600-million over the next three years to expand its mine and double its processing capacity.
Like many other Canadian investors, the company sees its future in West Africa’s fast-growing mining sector, rather than in the older mines of South Africa, even though the South African industry is still bigger.