60 dead, 100 others seriously wounded in gold mine explosion in Burkina Faso

for Tv47 Digital February 22, 2022, 11:37 AM
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Gold mining site in Gbomblora, Burkina Faso. Photo/courtesy

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Gold from Burkina Faso . Photo/file

According to reports from South Africa-based Institute for Security Studies, the gold is being smuggled into neighboring Togo, Benin, Niger and Ghana.

The small-scale mines are also reportedly used by armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS), which have staged attacks in the country since 2016.

The groups reportedly raise funds by taxing miners, and also use the mine sites for recruiting fighters and seeking refuge.

Mining experts say the smaller mines have fewer regulations than industrial ones and thus can be more dangerous.

“The limited regulation of the artisanal and small-scale mining sector contributes to increased risks that can be very dangerous, including the use of explosives which are often smuggled into the country and used illegally,” said Marcena Hunter, senior analyst at Global Initiative, a Swiss-based think-tank.

In October 2019, armed groups attacked a gold mining site in the north of the country, leaving 20 people dead.

A month later, 37 civilians were killed and more than 60 wounded when gunmen ambushed a convoy transporting workers of Canadian gold miner Semafo.

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