What is the key priority of the Ministry of Mines for 2022?
Burkina was able to withstand the external pressures of the pandemic as gold and zinc production totalled 60 tonnes and 152,540 tonnes respectively in 2020. To stabilize the sector further and facilitate its growth, our focus for the coming year will be on adopting and implementing the local content decree adopted following the Minister’s announcement in September 2021 that relates to the local supply of goods and services in the country.
The new law on local content will ensure national companies can compete locally and internationally and the adoption of this decree will help promote local businesses in the mining sector and create jobs in accordance with Articles 101 and 102 of the mining code. To achieve this, several initiatives have already been undertaken by our department through the General Directorate for the Promotion of Energy and Mining Economy (DGPEEM).
However, we recognize that there are barriers to the deployment of local content such as the weakness of the legal framework, insufficient production infrastructure and the absence of training adapted to the requirements of the field. Therefore, we are promoting the creation of a skilled national workforce and value addition through refineries and fine coal processing for example.
How is Burkina Faso managing the balance between creating a friendly fiscal environment and ensuring the benefits of mining activity are maximized for the country’s development?
Burkina Faso's mining tax policy is highlighted under law number 036-2015, which aims to maximize revenue from the exploitation of mineral resources to ensure it is contributing to the country’s national development.
The mining code and general tax code include tax exemptions and tax breaks according to the stage of the project. For example, during the research and construction phase companies benefit from considerable tax breaks and exemptions from duties and customs.
How is the country managing the escalating security threats?
Several initiatives are being undertaken to reassure investors such as founding the national office for the security of mining sites (ONASSIM) which is designed to guarantee better security conditions for mining investors. It contributes to improving the safe operating conditions of mining sites and allows for the mobilization of mixed forces. Thanks to the efforts of ONASSIM, all mining sites have contingents of Defense and Security Forces able to cope with attacks.
However, it is also necessary to secure the access routes to industrial and artisanal mines to avoid tragedies such as the attack on the Boungou mining company. The authorities are tackling this issue head-on.
What is the policy framework and approach to formalize artisanal miners or “orpailleurs”?
In Burkina Faso, small-scale gold mining is an ancient practice that generates income for the two million individuals who practice it.
As a result, between 5 -10 tonnes of gold fraudulently exit the country annually. In 2015, the State decided to revisit its supervision policy on the sector through the creation of the National Agency for the Supervision of Artisanal and Semi-Mechanized Mining Operations (ANEEMAS) by decree number 2015-1420. ANEEMAS was created to supervise, organize and control artisanal miners.
This made it possible to supervise artisanal miners, the marketing of gold and the preservation of the environment. ANEEMAS, which currently has 10 management offices, also maps gold mining sites and leads awareness campaigns on 70 sites.
Other mechanisms are implemented to encourage players in the gold mining sub-sector to move towards semi-mechanized or even semi-industrial mining. For example, we are going to start refining activities to secure gold production sites and innovate in terms of traceability, but also to register artisanal miners and issue them with cards. All of these efforts help reduce the loss caused by fraud and illegal trade of gold each year as well as practices that harm the environment.
Do you have a final message for our international audience?
We would like to thank the various mining parties for their trust in our government. We ask mining companies to trust local players. As for the suppliers of local goods and services, we invite them to organize themselves, to come together to become stronger and more competitive because this is how they can gain the trust of mining companies.