Iamgold suspends convoys from Essakane following Tuesday attack


CANADIAN gold miner, Iamgold Corporation, suspended convoys to and from Essakane, a mine in Burkina Faso following an attack by gunmen, said Reuters citing the firm.

Vehicles travelling to Essakane were attacked on Tuesday wounding a police officer. The assailants were repelled by the convoy’s security detail, the newswire said. Essakane is Iamgold’s largest operating mine and is near the border with Niger.

Assailants fired on the vehicles from several hundred metres away and retreated after a brief firefight with security personnel, said Reuters citing a company statement. No passengers were hurt and the police officer is in a stable condition, it said.

“After analysis of the situation, all convoys coming or going to Essakane are cancelled until further notice,” the Toronto-listed company said.

The attack came less than two weeks after at least 80 people were killed when Islamist militants raided a civilian convoy that was being escorted by military police near the northern town of Arbinda.

Militant violence in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali has intensified in recent years despite the presence and interventions by UN, regional and Western troops.

Thousands of civilians have been killed and millions displaced by the violence in Burkina Faso since 2018.

Burkina Faso is host to a number of gold mining companies including Endeavour Mining and West African Resources.