Burkina Faso – Gold Prices Rebound Slightly (up to 79% of spot)
By Adama Ouedraogo - April 29, 2020
The following information comes from site managers, artisanal miners, local buyers, ANEEMAS agents (government agents), and approved outlets in Ouagadougou.
ASM Mines Sites return to operation in Burkina Faso
Most ASM sites are once again operational in Burkina Faso. Even those which had closed for COVID-19 are gradually resuming their activity. This is the case of the Gnikpière site in the commune of DANO.
Gold Prices at artisanal mining sites climb back to 79% of world price
Restrictions on movement within the country following COVID-19 seriously impacted the price of gold on mining sites in Burkina Faso. As of April 28, 2020, it appears that gold buyers are less and less complying with these travel restrictions and are using by-passes and short cuts to travel to and from gold production sites to buy gold. This has resulted in an improvement in the price of gold on artisanal sites.
In the four regions surveyed (information collected on 18 artisanal mining sites), the prices offered vary from 22,000 FCFA to 25,000 FCFA (US$36.3-US$41.25) per gram, depending on whether the gold is produced by a gravimetric system (mercury amalgamation) or by a chemical leaching process (cyanide dissolution).
Gold produced by artisanal miners ranges in purity from 20 carats to 23 carats depending on the site and the production process. The carat therefore has an average cost of 1,100 CFA francs (US$1.82).
Today’s spot price (April 28, 2020 at 11:00 GMT) is US$ 54.96 per gram of pure gold or US$ 2.29/carat. In other words, gold on artisanal mining sites in Burkina Faso gold costs US $1.82/carat while the spot price is US$ 2.29/carat.
Gold prices in Burkina are thus back at 79% of world spot price, from a low of 55% just after the COVID-19 crisis hit. Pre-crisis, miners were receiving 94% of spot price.
Access of gold panners to the gold market
Artisanal gold miners still do not have full access to the market and are thus forced to sell their gold at the prices offered by site buyers. As shown above, buyers are offering 79% of world price, down from 94% before the pandemic hit. Miners are forced to sell like this every day to be able to provide for their families.
Currently, there are no alternatives available to artisanal miners to improve the gold marketing chain during this COVID -19 crisis.
The impact of COVID-19 on important livelihood issues in ASGM communities.
According to our information from the sites, with the quarantine of large cities and the closing of borders, certain industrial foodstuffs are starting to be lacking on the sites. The prices of mass consumption products such as rice, oil, sugar are slightly increasing on the sites.
Some mining materials such as dynamites are starting to run out and their prices are increasing day by day.
Adama Ouedraogo is the coordinator of field operations responsible for community relations for the AGC and planetGOLD Burkina Faso
The planetGOLD Burkina Faso project is working toward eliminating mercury in the ASGM sector by improving availability of mercury-free technologies, shortening the gold supply chain, and increasing artisanal and small-scale miners’ direct
access to the international market.
The planetGOLD Burkina Faso project is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), co-financed by the Artisanal Gold Council, Argor Heraeus and the government of Burkina Faso, and executed by the Artisanal Gold Council.
Visit planetgold.org/burkinafaso to learn more and sign up for updates