afrol News, 26 March - Gold production in Burkina Faso more than doubled from 2008 to 2009, according to the Prime Minister. The entire mining sector in the country was "booming", he said.
Prime Minister Tertius Zongo in his state-of-the-nation speech to the Ouagadougou parliament summed up the results of the country's different economic sectors. The strongest increase in any sector during 2009 had been in gold production, Mr Zongo said.
Thanks to a strongly growing price of precious metals on the world market during recent years, "the mining and extractive industries are experiencing a real boom in Burkina Faso, PM Zongo said in his speech. This was despite the impact of the global economic and financial crisis, he added.
Investors were increasingly interested in the Burkinabe mining sector. "The number of permits and authorisations issued rose from 537 in 2008 to 599 in 2009, an increase of 11.6 percent," according to PM Zongo.
But also production was booming, in particular regarding gold mining. The industrial production of gold had risen from about 5,000 kg in 2008 to 11,642 kg in 2009, he said, representing more than a doubling of production. These development swould be helping to "strengthen the position of our country as a mining country," he summed up.
Labour gains however were limited. The activities around four of the main gold mines in Burkina Faso had created about 1,350 permanent jobs.
Moreover, the construction of new gold mines in Essakane and Inata, the zinc mine in the Perko Sanguié and a small manganese mine in the Tuy Kier had "continued without major difficulties." Their exploitation were expected to bring the number of jobs created by the mining industry to about 3,000 and the amount of investment accumulated to CFA 367 billion (euro 560 million).
Prime Minister Zongo could reveal that there was still a big interest among investors in the Burkinabe mining sector. During a December mining promotion event, "Promin Burkina 2009", where government was presenting its plans for a sustainable development of the mining sector, 800 participants from all over the world found their way to Ouagadougou.
For 2010, the Burkinabe government has expansive plans for its mining sector. The start-up of production from the gold mines Essakane of Inata and the manganese mine of Kier are already announced for 2010.
Further, Mr Zongo said, government was still working hard to "identify a reliable partner for the exploitation of manganese in Tambao." Finally, he announced the start-up of geological research would result in the assessment of mining potentials in the sedimentary areas in the west and north of the country. Geologists indicate there are great potential for oil and uranium in those regions.
Gold already is Burkina Faso's second largest export product, after cotton, and the country is strongly promoting the development of the mining industry. Apart from gold, Burkina Faso is known to have significant occurrences of phosphates and manganese.
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