Burkino Faso attack blamed on ‘foreign parties’

The Boungou mine site in Burkina Faso. Image: Semafo.

Perenti Global has confirmed that the number of fatalities and injuries caused by last week’s security incident in Burkina Faso, West Africa remain stable.

There were 19 fatalities and 26 injuries, accounting for all members of Perenti’s workforce from African Mining Services who were part of the convoy out of Semafo’s Bongou mine.

Perenti has established counselling services for families and employees, while undergoing an evacuation process for all staff remaining at the Bongou mine via helicopter.

A convoy of five buses containing AMS employees, Semafo workers and employees of other Semafo suppliers were travelling between the mine site and Fada road escorted by military police when it came under attack last week.

Burkina Faso authorities have confirmed there had been 37 fatalities and 60 injuries in total.

“We have seen the true human cost of the tragic events last week and it’s difficult to comprehend,” Perenti managing director Mark Norwell said.

“These were hardworking innocent people simply trying to provide a livelihood for their families. We are doing absolutely everything we can to support those affected and have mobilised additional personnel to assist in any way possible.”

Operations at the Bongou mine remain suspended.

Mako Gold, which operates the Niou project in Burkina Faso, stated the attack was mostly motivated by foreign actors.

The company extended its moral support to the Burkina Faso Government, which is “working hard to improve security in the east and north of the country.”

“It is important all investors and the wider business community appreciate that this activity is motivated largely by foreign parties and wider geopolitical challenges, and enjoys little to no support within Burkina Faso itself,” Mako stated.

Mako’s field staff were unaffected by the incident, with the majority of the company’s staff focussed on the Napié project in Côte d’Ivoire.

The company still plans to advance the Niou project and will evaluate security prior to deploying field staff.

Burkina Faso has been fighting a jihadist insurgency that has increased in the country since 2015.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.