Gold is Burkina Faso’s 2nd largest export, after cotton. There has been a major drive to promote minerals investment in Burkina Faso with over $100 million being invested over the past few years on 130 prospecting licenses. The European Sysmin fund has provided approximately $10 million to complete a four year geological mapping exercise as well as completing a 135 000 km2 airborne geophyscial survey. Sysmin has completed a similar exercise in Namibia.

Mineral resources include manganese, bauxite, copper, nickel, lead, zinc, gold and limestone/marble but there has been little mineral development. However, the Sydney-based company, Aim Resources Ltd have recently been developing the Pekoa zinc deposit in western Burkina Faso and Goldcrest Resources Ltd have been developing copper deposits near Gaoua in the southern part of the country. In recent years, however, the development of the country’s gold resources has assumed greater significance and could become increasingly important because of the current low world price of cotton, the country’s principal export commodity.

Burkina Faso has undeveloped phosphate resources in the east of the country as well as manganese potential in the Sahel district in north eastern Burkina Faso. The Tambao deposit consists of a manganese oxide deposit that includes a supergene enriched carbonate zone at depth. A resource of some 19 Mt grading at an average 52% manganese has been outlined.

Minerals Legislation Overview

A new Mining Code was adopted in 1997 and modified in 2000. Mineral resources are the property of the state with mineral rights being granted by the Ministère de l’IEnergie et Mines. The Code identifies two types of title for large operations, the exploration and exploitation permits, respectively.

Exploration Permit

An Exploration Permit is granted by the Minister of Mines and is restricted to a total area of 250 km2 for all minerals. There are no limits to the number of Exploration Permits held by a company. Permits have a duration of 3 years and may be renewed twice for a period of three years. However, upon renewal, 25% of the Permit area must be relinquished. A fee of FCFA 1 000 000 (US$ 1300) is payable once the Permit has been granted. First renewal charges are FCFA 2 000 000 (US$ 2600) and FCFA 5 000 000 (US$ 6500) for the third and final renewal.

A surface fee of FCFA 100/km2 per year is charged for the first period, FCFA 200/km2 per year for the second and FCFA 400/km2 per year for the third period, respectively.

Exploitation Permit

An Exploitation Permit is granted by the Council of Ministers based on recommendation by the Minister of Mines. The state automatically obtains a 10% participation in the venture. The Permit is valid for a period of 20 years and is renewable at periods of five years over the life of the mine. A fee of FCFA 5 000 000 (US$ 6500) is payable upon granting of the permit with an additional FCFA 12 500 000 (US$ 16250) per renewal. A surface fee of FCFA 500 000/km2 is payable each year.

Fiscal regime and Commercial Legislation

A number of guarantees and tax allowances are included in the legislation: The state guarantees the right of ownership, freedom of management, free transfer of capital and returns and stability of agreements made under this law. Also included are exemptions from customs duties on temporary import of equipment, although bank guarantees have to be posted against re-export. Exemptions are also granted on the Industrial and Commercial Professions Tax, Value Added Tax and on the Employers and Apprenticeship Tax in the exploration stage. A variety of tax reliefs, including accelerated depreciation, are conceded to mining projects depending on whether it is for an exploitation permit or a mining concession. The Tax on Industrial Profits and Commercial Tax is reduced to 35%, and the Revenues des Valeurs Mobilières is 12.5%.

In recent years the country has experienced changes in its mining law and infrastructure and under the present mining code a prospecting authorisation, in the form of a renewable one-year prospecting licence can be issued, as well as an exploration permit whereby conditions and renewal depend on the size of the surface area to be developed.

Organisations (12)

Banlaw Afrique Sarl, High River Gold Mines (West Africa) Ltd, Bureau des Mines et de la Géologie du Burkina, Burkina Faso Ministry of Mines and Energy, Compagnie Miniere de Tambao, Kalsaka gold mine, Ministere de l’Energie et des Mines, Ministry of Geology, Energy and Mines / Ministère de l’Energie et des Mines, Orezone Resources Inc., Ridge Mining (Burkina) Sarl, Sahelian Goldfields, Societé de Recherches et d’Exploitation Minieres du Burkina

Facilities (16)

Belahouro Gold Deposit, Bombore Gold Deposit, Essakan, Guiro, Kalsaka, Kerboule, Malba Copper/Gold Project, Mana, Maoula, Perkoa, Poura, Rounga, Tambao, Taparko, Tounte, Youga