Gold miners say operations unaffected after Burkina Faso suffers second coup this year

Burkina Faso's new self-proclaimed leader captain Ibrahim Traore attends a meeting in Ouagadougou on October 2, 2022. - Burkina Faso's junta leader Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba agreed to step down on October 2, 2022, religious and community leaders said, two days after military officers announced his ouster in a coup that sparked internal unrest and international condemnation. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

GOLD miners in Burkina Faso said their operations were unaffected by a fresh bout of political instability over the weekend after the West African country’s military leader agreed to step down.

Citing religious and community leaders, the BBC said Burkina Faso’s new self-declared leader, Capt Ibrahim Traoré, had Lt Col Paul-Henri Damiba’s resignation and conditions he had set.

It is the second coup this year.

Sydney-listed West African Resources, which is on course for production of up to 240,000 ounces of gold this year from its Burkina Faso mines, said the change in political situation “appears to be due to internal disagreement within the Burkina Faso military leadership over the management of security issues in the north and east of the country”.

Its Sanbrado Gold Operations “… continue to operate as normal” and communities around the mine were “calm”, it added.

According to the BBC, Burkina Faso controls as little as 60% of its territory and Islamist violence is worsening. The country has witnessed growing acts of terrorism perpetrated by roving Jihadist gangs.

Endeavour Mining, a company listed in Toronto and London said that its operations “are not affected by the recent political events”.

However, it had faced some pressure from shareholders after the company wrote down its Boungou mine for $246.3m in May owing to security concerns related to regional terrorism which had brought a temporary stop to exploration beyond the mine fence.

AFP news agency said Damiba had set seven conditions for stepping down – including a guarantee of his security, an agreement to continue with efforts at national reconciliation and a continued respect for the guarantee of returning to civilian rule within two years.

The African Union has demanded the return of constitutional order by July 2023 at the latest, agreeing with the regional group Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) that the ousting of leader Lt Col Damiba was “unconstitutional”.