Mining

Burkina Faso is predominantly underlain by rocks of the Guinea Rise which borders the Gulf of Guinea and extends from Sierra Leone in the west to Ghana in the east. This rise or dome feature is composed of probable Archean aged migmatites, granitic gneisses and amphibolites overlain by north to northeasterly trending greenstone belts of metasediments and metavolcanics dominated by units of the (Paleo-)Proterozoic Birrimian Supergroup .

Burkina Faso's mineral resources include gold, manganese, copper, zinc, silver, limestone, marble, phosphates, pumice and salt but gold is by far the most important mineral to the economy. Mineral commodities produced in 2008 were limited to gold and various industrial and construction materials. Gold production, with the opening of the Kalsaka, Mana and Youga mines, increased by almost 250% in 2008 and Burkina Faso was ranked the eighth largest producer in Africa. Burkina Faso is set to become Africa’s fourth largest gold miner by 2012. Birimian-age greenstone belts cover large parts of Burkina Faso and host the known structurally controlled quartz vein and stockwork mineralization, see http://spilpunt.blogspot.com/2007/04/burkina-faso_6062.html. Gold is recorded from 7 major districts in Burkina Faso and in addition alluvial diamonds have been recorded but to date no major discoveries have been announced. In addition to gold the country’s most significant mineral resources are zinc and maganmese. The Kiere Manganese Mine (600,000 tonnes @ 45-55% Mn) opened in December 2008 and a feasibility study on the Tambao deposit (19 Mt @ 52 % Mn) was completed and mine construction is due to start in 2009-10. The Perkoa zinc and silver mine is expected to start construction in 2010. Exploration for copper and uranium is ongoing.


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